City technology colleges (CTCs) teach subjects of the national curriculum pre-16 with a specific focus on science and technology. The city college for the technology of arts (CCTA) focuses particularly on the technology of the performing arts.
All CTCs offer a wide range of vocational qualifications post-16 alongside A-levels or equivalents with many piloting pre-16 vocational qualifications.
Most CTCs teach a longer day and eight operate a five-term year.
CTCs have developed close links with employers. Sponsorship is more than financial, with employers donating equipment, playing active roles on CTC governing bodies, helping to develop units of qualifications, or providing work placements for pupils and staff.
The Academy programme will build on the successes of CTCs and some CTCs are considering Academy status.
The City Technology programme was established by the Education Reform Act 1988. Fourteen city technology colleges (CTCs) and one city college for the technology of arts (CCTA) were opened in urban areas across England in the period 1988 to 1993. The purpose of the CTCs was to provide a broadly based secondary education with a strong technological element offering a wider choice of secondary school to inner city children aged 11-18.
The Schools Standards and Framework Act allowed CTCs to keep their status as independent schools and provided for any CTC wishing to do so to join the maintained sector, subject to local statutory proposals.