New Diplomas are a positive step forward

Shamik Das

By Shamik Das / @shamikdas

Business leaders have praised diplomas and welcomed the five new subjects being introduced to schools in England today. The diploma, introduced a year ago, combines a strong vocational element with extensive work experience, and has been designed to ensure students are work and university-ready, with Maths and English playing a key role in their learning.

Business, Administration and Finance, Hair and Beauty Studies, Hospitality, Land Based and Environmental Studies and Manufacturing and Product Design are the diplomas being rolled out this term, joining the five established subjects of Creative and Media, cConstruction and the Built Environment, Engineering, Information Technology and Society and Health and Development.

Head of the Federation of Small Businesses Stephen Alambritis said:

“Universities want brainy children. We also need children who are good with their hands and we need to give them a path through which they can express those skills and these diplomas are a way forward…What we need to do is to improve the teaching of diplomas, make sure they are not seen as second class qualifications.”

Listen to his BBC radio interview here.

Only last week, a report by the National Foundation for Education Research revealed universities would not discriminate against applicants with diplomas, with even the elite Russell Group “strongly supportive” of them. Among the valuable skills taught to students, said the report, were crucial independent learning, critical thinking and teamwork skills, which would “prepare them extremely well for a university course”.

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