Future of the Diploma and Principal Learning qualifications - November 2011
The broad direction of the Government's education reform has been set out in the Education Bill and other announcements regarding the curriculum, the recommendations following Professor Alison Wolf's review of vocational education, the English Baccalaureate and, most recently, the changes to performance measures announced on 27 October.
The Diplomas and Principal Learning qualifications do not fit readily into this context and most of the specific additional support for the Diplomas has now been withdrawn. As a result the market uptake for these qualifications has diminished further from what was already a relatively small base.
In the longer-term interests of young learners, and after careful consideration,
AQA-City & Guilds has decided not to take any new registrations or entries for Diploma and Principal Learning courses for the academic year starting September 2012.
We will continue to support learners and centres to complete Diploma courses which began in 2010 and 2011, but are confirming this decision now, so that centres can plan ahead and work with learners on their alternative course choices for next September 2012.
Many of you have made a significant contribution to the success of Diploma learners, so we understand that this decision may come as a personal disappointment. We would like to acknowledge the time and expertise that schools and colleges have devoted to making the Diplomas work, despite some considerable delivery challenges.
The Diploma has been well received by many young people and we know from our research that areas like Principal Learning and the Project Qualifications have provided a rich and rewarding experience for learners.
As we move into this new period of qualification reform, we remain committed to working with schools and colleges to review their needs, potential options and the most appropriate pathways for learners.
AQA and City & Guilds both have a broad portfolio of alternative qualifications for young learners, which are available for use next September.
Contact details for further information
Centres should use their normal business contacts in AQA or City & Guilds and their regional offices.
- For further information regarding the future of Diplomas, please have a look at our Frequently Asked Questions.
- For exams officer support, schools and colleges should contact AQA Exams Office Support hotline
0844 209 6614.
- For further information about alternative AQA qualifications, schools and colleges can contact the AQA Exams Office Support hotline on 0844 209 6614 selecting Option 5.
- For further information about alternative City & Guilds qualifications, schools and colleges can contact City & Guilds Diploma Support on 0870 024 2466.
- Those who prefer to use email should contact AQA-City & Guilds at firstname.lastname@example.org.