New school diplomas to be taught by 2009

PUBLISHED: 13:05 26 March 2008 | UPDATED: 13:05 06 May 2010

NEW diplomas will be taught by all state secondary schools in the district by September 2009. The diplomas will be offered to 14 to 19-year-olds who can chose from five different subjects -- engineering, creative and media, hospitality, Information Techno

NEW diplomas will be taught by all state secondary schools in the district by September 2009.

The diplomas will be offered to 14 to 19-year-olds who can chose from five different subjects -- engineering, creative and media, hospitality, Information Technology, and society health and development.

The districts' schools are part of the St Albans and Harpenden Strategic Partnership Group that was successful in its bid to bring diplomas to the area by demonstrating the backing of local employers and higher education providers to the Department for Children Schools and Families (DCSF).

A spokesperson for Herts County Council said special needs schools in the St Albans and Harpenden area might yet take up the diplomas as well.

Certain aspects of the diplomas would be taught at Oaklands College and the University of Herts and with local employers, she added.

The new diplomas are a mixture of practical work and academic studies designed to encourage young people to keep learning for longer and give them the skills to go to university or get a job.

The diplomas are not to replace GCSEs and A-Levels but to give another option that enables students to get a taste of a particular skills sector by providing a learning environment that is more like a workplace than a classroom.

There are three levels of diploma - Foundation level worth five GCSE grades D-G, Higher Level worth seven GCSE grades A*-C and Advanced Level worth the same number of UCAS points as three-and-a-half A-levels.

By 2011 diplomas will cover 17 subjects.

For more information on diplomas go to http://yp.direct.gov.uk/diplomas/

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