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Walters & Cohen designed college set to close

One of the government’s flagship University Technical Colleges (UTC), which boasts buildings by AJ Women in Architecture award-winners Walters and Cohen, has announced its closure due to low pupil numbers

Hackney UTC, in Hoxton, east London, only took in its first pupils in September 2012, but struggled to attract enough students for the coming academic year and will close from August 2015.

The college specialises in digital and health technologies and is sponsored by the University of East London, BT, Homerton University NHS Foundation Trust, and IT specialist Cisco.

The buildings, which are part-new-build and part refurbished, belong to the Department for Education but are built on land owned by Hackney Community College.

A Department for Education spokesman said the Hackney UTC Trust had requested permission for the school to close at the end of August 2015 because of ‘disappointing pupil recruitment’, however he said the buildings would continue to be used for education.

‘It is vital that every school delivers value for money and so we have accepted their request,’ he said.

‘Our priority now is working with the trust to ensure pupils are able to complete courses they have started and receive the right support.’

Anthony Painter, chairman of governors at the UTC, said it had become clear that starting provision with pre-GCSE year 10 students rather than year 12s did ‘not fit well with local circumstances’.

Hackney Community College said it was reviewing the future of the buildings with the Department for Education and potential partners to find a suitable educational use.

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