Wigan UTC will close as low student numbers are unviable

Wigan UTCWigan UTC
Wigan UTC
Wigan's technical college will shut its doors at the end of this school year as pupil numbers are too low to make it financially viable.

Wigan UTC announced in principle that it will close for good at the end of August as it has not been in a healthy financial position for several years.

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In a statement the Northern Schools Trust said running it with the current numbers of young people learning there would leave it with a "crippling deficit".

Teachers were told yesterday, the families of pupils currently studying there were informed this morning and governors, trustees and employment partners of the academy have all been told of the decision.

Governors are working with the Department for Education to find a way forward and offer support and has also started talking to partner secondary schools and Wigan Council.

A series of meetings are expected to be held with parents over the coming weeks, with opportunities for families to share their concerns and give views on how the closure should take place.

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The organisation running the academy said it was "deeply disappointing" as the UTC had provided high-quality education that had allowed students to go on to achieve considerable success.

Rod Dubrow-Marshall, chair of the local governing body, said: “I am really sad that we have had to come to the conclusion that the Wigan UTC must, in principle, close – this is entirely areflection of the unsustainable financial position of the school and nothing to do with the wonderful outcomes for our students and our dedicated and hard-working staff who have helped transform the lives of so many students and their families.

"On behalf of the local governing body I want to wholeheartedly thank all our staff and our students and their families for being the lifeblood of the Wigan UTC – we share your feelings of sadness right now and we will work with you all to help ensure really good progression for you in your future education and careers.”

The local governing body also thanked everyone involved for being supportive as the tough decisions about the UTC's future were made.

Plans for the technical college were first unveiled in late 2011, opening the following year.