Diploma plan 'risks disaster'
The Government's new diploma programme threatens to be a disaster that will leave teenagers badly prepared for university or work, a report by the University of Buckingham claims.
The basic concept – one qualification which will combine practical skills with academic theory – is flawed, and will undermine educational standards, warn the report's authors, Professor Alan Smithers and Dr Pamela Robinson.
The first five diplomas – in media, health, construction, IT and engineering – will be taught to 20,000 teenagers from September. Another 12 diplomas will follow. Ministers believe they could replace A-levels as "the qualification of choice" for students aged 14 to 19.
But the report argued that ministers wanted to scrap A-levels and GCSEs – an approach that "risks disaster". It was "extremely doubtful" whether the same qualification could prepare pupils both for an apprenticeship and for university. The report also expressed concern that the diploma will be assessed internally by teachers, "so it will be difficult to ensure comparability of standards in the same subject, let alone between them".
Most schools are unprepared for the new diplomas, and lack the expert teachers and specialist equipment needed, the report also warned.
The Schools minister, Jim Knight, dismissed the study as "one-sided carping". He added: "The diploma has garnered widespread backing from employers, universities, schools, colleges and education experts."
Ministers have promised to review secondary qualifications in 2013, and have refused to guarantee that A-levels and GCSEs will survive the review.
Sally Farmiloe dead: Howards' Way actress, and former mistress of Jeffrey Archer, dies aged 60
Russell Brand accuses FOX News anchor Sean Hannity of terrorism after aggressive Israel-Gaza debate
Pope Francis issues top 10 tips for happiness – including don’t try to convert other people
Sabina Altynbekova, the girl branded 'too good looking' for volleyball, says social media obsession with her is a 'bit much'
Justin Bieber posts Instagram photo of Orlando Bloom crying after Ibiza fight 'over Miranda Kerr'
The secret report that helps Israel hide facts
Land for gas: Merkel and Putin discussed secret deal could end Ukraine crisis
Woman and two children killed by mob in riots over 'blasphemous' Facebook post in Pakistan
A day in the life of Vladimir Putin: The dictator in his labyrinth
Putin is 'thuggish, dishonest and reckless', says British ambassador to US
Richard Dawkins tweets: 'Date rape is bad, stranger rape is worse'
- 2 Disney heiress Abigail disowns her share of family profits in West Bank company
- 3 The secret report that helps Israel hide facts
- 4 Israel's propaganda machine is finally starting to misfire
- 5 'Hello mum, this is going to be hard for you to read ...'
- < Previous
- Next >
£18000 - £30000 per annum + Generous commission scheme: AER Teachers: Thames T...
£21000 - £35000 per annum: Randstad Education Cambridge: Supply teachers neede...
£111 - £163 per day + £111 - £163 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: The posi...
£64 - £69 per day + Competitive London rates of pay : Randstad Education Group...