National Evaluation of Diplomas Gateway 2 Lead Consortium Survey

Lisa O'Donnell , Sarah Lynch

01 October 2009

Available to download from DfE

In January 2008, the DCSF commissioned the NFER and the University of Exeter to conduct the national evaluation of the implementation and impact of Diplomas over the period 2008-2013. This Research Brief presents the findings from a telephone survey carried out in January-February 2009 of Gateway 2 consortium leads. Interviews were achieved with 254 of the 310 consortium leads (82 per cent). Of those, 106 had been delivering Diplomas since September 2008. It is important to note that the survey focused primarily on planning and preparation for the lines of learning that consortia would start delivering for the first time in 2009.

The national evaluation of diplomas

Key Findings

  • Overall, consortia felt prepared for the delivery of Diplomas from September 2009, with most reporting that they were either ‘well’ or ‘fairly well’ prepared in relation to the factors listed.
  • At the time of the interviews (February 2009), consortia were most concerned about: future funding in order to sustain provision; providing transport (especially in rural areas); and assessment and accreditation (although training and support was scheduled for the coming months).
  • Most consortia were planning some degree of partnership delivery between schools and other organisations, maximising the benefits of staff expertise and facilities across partners.
  • Having strong leadership, establishing and maintaining effective communication between partners, and developing a shared vision for Diploma implementation, were considered important for overcoming any challenges of collaborative working.
  • Just over two-thirds of consortia were planning to deliver three or fewer lines of learning from September 2009; the Higher level Diploma (Level 2) was most likely to be offered. A majority of consortium leads anticipated that there would be 100 or fewer learners starting a Diploma in September 2009 in their consortium.
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