Magazine article Public Finance

Diploma Plan Rejection Is a 'Lost Opportunity'

Magazine article Public Finance

Diploma Plan Rejection Is a 'Lost Opportunity'

Article excerpt

Proposals to transform the teaching and assessment of 14 to 19-year-olds have been condemned as a missed opportunity across the education sector.

The long-awaited education white paper, published on February 23, is a response to Sir Mike Tomlinson's review of 14-19 learning and delivered few surprises.

Education Secretary Ruth Kelly fought shy of embracing Tomlinson's recommendations in full, rejecting the idea of a single, overarching diploma that would include both academic and vocational elements. She did, however, offer a glimmer of hope to Tomlinson fans, promising to review the idea again in 2008.

Although GCSEs and A-level examinations will remain, Kelly set out what she said was a 'radical package of reforms that would enhance vocational opportunities, strengthen numeracy and literacy skills, increase post-16 participation and stretch the brightest students.

But teachers leaders said Kelly's response was a 'failure of nerve. Steve Sinnott, general secretary of the National Union of Teachers, said: 'It looks as if shortsighted electoral considerations have overridden sensible policy making."

John Dunford of the Secondary Heads Association echoed this view. …

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