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24 September 2014

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You are in: London > London Local > Waltham Forest > Work and Money > New Diplomas come to Waltham Forest

School exams

A Levels

New Diplomas come to Waltham Forest

O’levels, GCEs, GCSEs, A’ Levels, BTECs, NVQs GNVQs and now New Diplomas. They’re the latest in a line of qualifications available to 14-19 year olds in Waltham Forest.

Where do Diplomas sit amongst current qualifications

Diplomas can be taken at 3 levels:

Level 1 is equivalent to four or five GCSE passes

Level 2 is equivalent to five or six GCSE passes at grade A* to C

Level 3 is equivalent to three A-Levels

All levels will be accepted by universities, colleges and potential employers

In September 2008 young people from across the borough will have the option to study for a new qualification in five disciplines including; Creative and Media, Construction and the Built environment, Engineering, IT and Society, Health and Development.

The project has been lead by the Council, schools, colleges and employers in the area and will sit alongside current GCSE and A-Level qualifications. Waltham Forest cabinet member for Children and Young people, Cllr Chris Robbins is happy to be among the first boroughs to trial the qualification saying:

School children in classroom

"We are very excited about the opportunity that the Creative and Media Diploma offers to Waltham Forest's young people. We are also very pleased with the £250,000 we will have as part of the programme to invest in the buildings where our young people will learn."

There will also be an additional £30,000 made available from central funding to help train and recruit staff for each Diploma.

"Diplomas will be an attractive and flexible option for young people in Waltham Forest"

Secretary of State, Alan Johnson

Central Government's aim is that by 2013 young people across the country will be able to choose a diploma in one of 14 'lines of learning'. It's all part of the Labour Party's  plans to encourage young people to stay in education. Alan Johnson, who was Secretary of State for Education and Skills when the diplomas were announced says:

"Diplomas will be an attractive and flexible option for young people in Waltham Forest… Their introduction is one of the most radical educational developments taking place anywhere in the world and we are putting funding, energy and commitment into making them a reality."

The Diplomas are set up to provide a blend of theoretical and applied learning, hopefully making them more attractive to a wider range of young people. A work-experience placement will be a core element to the new Diplomas allowing students to get a real-world understanding of their subject.

Existing qualifications Vs Diplomas

I'd like to hear your comments. Do you think these new qualifications will keep young people in education? If you're between 14 and 16 years old, what's your take on these Diplomas and will you be among those going for them in 2008?

Email me at:

Your views

I am a Head of Department ICT/Business at a secondary school in High Wycombe. We welcome the New Diplomas... We are part of a small consortium who were the first in our area to go through the Diploma Gateway and successfully bid to start the Engineering Diploma from this coming September. Parents, staff and more especially students are looking forward to gaining a qualification that is vocational and relevant to the 21st century. We are well prepared for the functional skills. I am leading the way in school by offering the pilot qualification for ICT this May. I have received several days of training, have schemes of work in place, have provided and found lots of resources and are ready to go. The functional skills WILL provide employers with the type of skills they expect and are much more relevant to the real world than GCSE's.

Jane Weston - Highcrest Community School

last updated: 29/05/2008 at 16:54
created: 21/12/2007

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