In autumn 2010, ministers announced plans to review arrangements for the Diploma, to bring it into line with other qualifications. Following that review, the Department has written to Ofqual to confirm that:
The full letter from the Department to Ofqual is available to download.
On 24 June, Ministers announced that the Diploma entitlement would not come in to force and schools and colleges would be allowed to choose how many, and which Diploma subjects they offer.
Ministers have decided not to hold any more Diploma Gateway rounds in the future. After four Gateways there is a considerable amount of expertise in local authorities, schools and colleges. So, for starts from 2012 onwards, there will be no requirement to obtain approval from the Department for Education before delivering new Diploma subjects. The remaining stages of Gateways 3 and 4 will run through to completion, and so those consortia which still wish to offer Diplomas from 2011 and have not yet met their conditions will need to go ahead with their autumn review.
In addition, the Government has also relaxed the requirement to offer the Diploma collaboratively through consortia. Schools and colleges already work in partnership on many fronts because there are advantages in doing so, and they may decide to continue to collaborate on delivering Diplomas. But we want to open up the possibility of individual schools and colleges offering Diploma courses at a level which suits their learners without stipulating that it has to be as part of a consortium. This will allow schools and colleges to widen their offer to students, providing students with an increased range of qualifications to better suit their needs.
In removing these barriers, we hope that schools and colleges will find it easier to make decisions about which Diplomas to offer and when, to the greater benefit of their students.
Ministers announced on 7 June that the development of the final three Diplomas in Humanities, Science and Languages, originally scheduled for first teaching in September 2011, would be stopped. Ministers believe that it is not the role of the state to decide whether there is a need for new qualifications, and that attention should be focused instead on improving existing qualifications in these subject areas to ensure they are rigorous, challenging and properly prepare young people for life, work and further study.
Ministers announced on 24 June that the development of the Extended Diploma would stop, to avoid adding another level of complexity to the Diploma qualification. Students who wish to take larger programmes of learning already have the flexibility to take additional learning alongside their Diploma.
On 7 June the Government announced that £14 million of savings were to be made from the previously centrally-funded 14-19 Workforce Support Programme. This resulted in the closure of the 14-19 Workforce Support Programme at the end of August 2010. The closure reflected the Government’s aspirations to move away from
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