When Royal Greenwich UTC failed to recruit enough students and was judged to require improvement, it closed in 2016 for a ‘fresh start’*. Greenwich Council stumped up £13m to change the defunct UTC into a secondary school.
In September 2016, Royal Greenwich Trust School opened as ‘new provision’ sponsored by University Schools Trust, East London (formerly The University Technical College, Royal Borough of Greenwich).
New provision requires improvement
Ofsted visited Royal Greenwich Trust School in January and judged it to require improvement.
At present, the intake comprises Years 7 and 8 and a sixth form. Inspectors said 16-19 provision was good but concern was expressed about Key Stage 3: lack of challenge for most able pupils; inconsistent SEND support and variable progress.
Inspectors found leaders were developing a Key Stage 4 curriculum plan and the present Year 8 pupils would begin studying GCSE study programmes at the start of Year 9.
‘There is some uncertainty among leaders and pupils about what the [Key Stage 4] curriculum will include,’ inspectors wrote. Pupils told inspectors they’d like ‘more information about what they are going to study’.
Amanda Spielman, Ofsted chief inspector, is concerned that lengthening Key Stage 4 to three years means pupils are dropping subjects a year earlier than they otherwise would be.
Royal Greenwich UTC seems to be airbrushed from official records
According to the government database for schools (GIAS*), Royal Greenwich UTC appears never to have existed. The predecessor school linked to the Royal Greenwich Trust School is not, as you would expect, Royal Greenwich UTC, a secondary 14-19 school, but Royal Greenwich Trust School Academy, an 11-19 secondary free school supposedly opened in September 2013 and closed in 2016 for, you’ve guessed it, a fresh start.
The UTC’s less than good inspection grade together with its inability to attract sufficient students also seem to have been buried. GIAS’s link to what it claims is the free school's predecessor, Royal Greenwich Trust School Academy, does admit the school/UTC required improvement. But the Ofsted link is broken and the report, which would have been in the name of the UTC, is no longer available on Ofsted’s website. And accounts** for University School Trust, East London, twice describe the Royal Greenwich Trust School as a ‘successful former UTC’.
But it wasn’t.
**Year ended 31 August 2017 available from Companies House or UST’s website. Year ended 31 August 2018 available from UST’s website.