Evaluation of the implementation and impact of Diplomas
The introduction of Diplomas for 14-19 year olds, at three levels and across 14 or more ‘lines’ of learning, represents a major innovation in educational opportunity for young people in England.
The Diploma consists of:
‘generic learning’ (functional skills in English, mathematics and information and communication technology (ICT), a project, and development of personal, learning and thinking skills)
‘principal learning’ (sector-related knowledge and underpinning skills needed to progress in relevant sectors)
‘additional/specialist’ learning (a selection of options can be chosen from a range of qualifications).
Diplomas also include learning in the workplace (a minimum of ten days’ work experience) and learning through realistic work environments to enable the development of practical skills and work-related application of learning.
In March 2007, DCSF announced that up to 40,000 Diploma places would be available from September 2008 through the first 149 consortia (groups of schools, colleges, training providers and employers) approved to offer Diploma courses in the first five ‘lines’ of learning (construction and the built environment, engineering, information technology (IT), creative and media, and health, society and development in phase 1). A further five lines will be available from September 2009 (phase 2) and four others in 2010 (phase 3). In October 2007 the Secretary of State announced that a further three ‘broad subject’ lines are to be added from 2011. In January 2008, the DCSF commissioned NFER and the University of Exeter to conduct the national evaluation of the implementation and impact of Diplomas over the period 2008-2013.
Time scale: January 2008 - August 2013
NFER Project Code: IID