New Diplomas win backing of small businesses

Business leaders have praised diplomas and welcomed the five new subjects being introduced to schools in England today.

The diploma, introduced a year ago, combines a strong vocational element with extensive work experience, and has been designed to ensure students are work and university-ready, with maths and English playing a key role in their learning.

Business, administration and finance, hair and beauty studies, hospitality, land-based and environmental studies and manufacturing and product design are the diplomas being rolled out this term.

They join the five established subjects creative and media, construction and the built environment, engineering, information technology and society and health and development on the curriculum.

Head of the Federation of Small Businesses Stephen Alambritis said:

“Universities want brainy children, we also need children who are good with their hands and we need to give them a path through which they can express those skills and these diplomas are a way forward.

“What we need to do is to improve the teaching of diplomas, make sure they are not seen as second class qualifications.”

Listen to his BBC radio interview here:-

Only last week a report by the National Foundation for Education Research revealed universities would not discriminate against applicants with diplomas, with even the elite Russell Group ‘strongly supportive’ of them.

Among the valuable skills taught to students, said the report, were crucial independent learning, critical thinking and teamwork skills, which would ‘prepare them extremely well for a university course.’

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2 Responses to “New Diplomas win backing of small businesses”

  1. Mark Harrison

    Testing for Shamik!

  2. Pockets

    Might it also be worth mentioning the many daunting problems facing diplomas? Yes, diplomas could prove to be the most important reform to English education in years – but they could also fail horribly. You only have to type the word ‘diploma’ into Google news to see that:
    – fewer pupils than expected are taking diplomas (11,400 kids – around a quarter of the orginal estimate)
    – in the diploma results announced last week, a quarter of students failed
    – Most 15 to 16 year olds don’t know what diplomas are, and among those that do they are still viewed as an alternative for those who “can’t do A-levels”

    If I might make a broader point, as one who wishes this blog well: this is meant to be an ‘evidence-based progressive blog’ (at least that’s what the blurb says). Yet this post and several others look suspiciously like callow cheerleading for government policies, citing only supportive evidence and entirely ignoring the rest. That is not, I’m afraid, ‘evidence-based’.

    These are early days, and this blog can choose to be a place of informed, nuanced debate, or else to become a government mouthpiece. I urge you to choose the former course.

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