The simple answer is: a type of free school (and thus a type of academy) characterised by being for 14-19s (although the term UTC is also being used to describe the JCB academy which was set up as an academy under the last government but which caters for 14-19s):
The Department says this:
“UTCs are academies for 14-19-year-olds. They focus on providing technical education that meets the needs of modern employers. They offer technical courses and work-related learning, combined with academic studies. All UTCs:
- are sponsored by a local university and employers. It is also usual for FE colleges and other educational institutions – like established academy trusts – to work in partnership with them;
- specialise in two curriculum areas (e.g. engineering and science);
- teach core GCSEs alongside technical qualifications, and we expect them to offer young people the opportunity to achieve the English Baccalaureate;
- focus on disciplines that require highly specialised equipment, for example, engineering, manufacturing and construction;
- teach these disciplines alongside developing young people’s business, ICT and design skills to prepare students for a range of careers and continuing education at 19; and
- have 500 to 800 students.
The Baker Dearing Educational Trust plays a key role in developing partnerships and advising on applications for UTCs.”
The Baker-Dearing Educational Trust says this.
That means they operate using (and are defined by) funding agreements.
Issues about enforcing the funding agreement will thus be the same as for other types of academy.
Although, like other academies, they will of course be subject to the general rules on discrimination including disability discrimination and subject to the equality duty and required to act compatibly with human rights.
But other details, like the law on admissions, exclusions, the curriculum, and so on will all depend on their particular funding agreement. If anyone has a copy of one and wants to share it, that would be very helpful.