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Atypical age range admission schools

Most students start secondary school in Year 7, when they're aged 11-12, and stay there until they finish their education. But at some secondary schools, students start when they're much older - usually aged 14-15 (Year 10). These are called 'atypical admission age' schools.

There are two types of schools with atypical admission ages - university technical colleges (UTCs) and studio schools. You can find out more about UTCs and studio schools on GOV.UK.

About atypical age range admission schools

University technical colleges (UTCs)


UTCs are colleges set up by universities and businesses. They specialise in one or two technical subjects. At GCSE level, they offer a similar curriculum to a typical secondary school, including the basics of English and maths, as well as their specialist subject.

Below is a list of schools in the north east and North Yorkshire area with atypical admission ages.

NE Futures UTC

Address: Stephenson Square, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 3AS

Phone: 0191 917 9888

NE Futures UTC offers innovative ways of learning for 14-19 year olds. Students gain practical experience with employers, which complements the mainstream GCSE and A-Level curriculum. The UTC provides pathways to employment in IT and healthcare sciences. Students could gain skills in, for example, game development, artificial intelligence, or developing healthcare treatments.

Scarborough UTC

Address: 1 Ashburn Road, Scarborough, North Yorkshire, YO11 2JW

Phone: 01723 821621

Scarborough UTC is a 14-19 school, sponsored by leading employers in the fields of engineering and product design, as well as the University of Hull. Alongside core GCSEs and A-Levels in subjects like English, maths, and science, students can study Level 2 and Level 3 technical qualifications in engineering and product design.

UTC South Durham

Address: Long Tens Way, Aycliffe Business Park, DL5 6AP

Phone: 01325 430250

UTC South Durham was founded by the University of Sunderland, Hitachi Rail Europe, and Gestamp Tallent. Students in Years 10 and 11 study engineering along with the core GCSE subjects of English language and literature, maths, sciences, and a range of other GCSEs. They visit companies and work on projects led by local businesses.

Studio schools


Studio schools are small schools (usually with around 300 pupils) which teach mainstream qualifications through project-based learning. This means working in realistic situations as well as learning academic subjects.

Students work with local employers and a personal coach, and follow a curriculum designed to give them the skills and qualifications they need in work or further education.

There are currently no studio schools in the area.

Making a decision

You should look at the GCSE curriculum at your child's current school to help you decide what is the best option for the next two years of their education. Your child should also discuss their options with a careers adviser in their current school or college. All schools must offer impartial careers guidance to all students from Year 8 to Year 13.

If you'd like to find out more, or apply for a place at any of these schools, you should contact the school directly.