Ten things you didn’t know about the Diploma

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The Diploma – introduced to offer young people a new way of learning, by combining practical and theoretical achievement into one award – has now been available in schools and colleges for more than 500 days. To celebrate this milestone, the Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF) has supplied TeachingTimes  with this exclusive list of ten things you might not know about the qualification that is lighting up the 14 – 19 curriculum:

  1. The number of young people studying a Diploma trebled last year – from 12,000 up to 36,000.
  2. All the components of the Diploma now contribute to schools’ Achievement and Attainment Tables (AATs).
  3. As component parts of a Diploma, young people can take a variety of other qualifications, including A levels, GCSEs and BTECs
  4. A new web-based tool called the Diploma Validator lets teachers check that a Diploma learner is doing the right components for a valid programme of study - http://diplomavalidator.qcda.gov.uk/
  5. Students who complete an Advanced Diploma including the right components can apply to over 80% of university courses.
  6. Many students do really interesting projects that enhance their learning – for example, at Priestly College in Warrington, the Diploma in Business, Administration and Finance students have attended a marketing conference in Paris, and set up their own printing business.
  7. Anyone who achieves a Diploma, at any level, is guaranteed to have the recommended level of Functional Skills in English, maths and ICT.
  8. More than 5,000 businesses and many universities were involved in the development of the first five Diploma lines.
  9. Over 250 employers have signed up to the Diploma Employer Champions’ Network (DECN) including Channel 4, GMTV, Rolls Royce and British Gas.
  10. The Diploma isn’t being introduced as a rival to GCSEs and A levels, it’s another learning option - for young people who prefer a mix of learning styles
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