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Vocational Education

Volume 464: debated on Monday 15 October 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families if he will make a statement on the development of the (a) 14-19 curriculum and (b) vocational education. (154517)

We are making good progress on the development of new Diplomas—the first five qualifications were accredited in September 2007 and will be taught by schools and colleges within selected consortia areas by September 2008. By 2013 every young person will be entitled to study for a diploma across all employment sectors, combining academic study with practical experience to give young people a strong platform of skills development and insight into the ways a sector works.

Work-related learning (WRL), is an increasingly important part of the 14-19 curriculum, and is a key feature of Diplomas. WRL helps to develop the skills and attitudes that are essential in preparing young people for the world of work and has been a part of the statutory requirement at Key Stage 4 since 2004. Surveys from the QCA and Ofsted in 2007 provide good evidence that it is helping deliver better results for young people. In addition over 120,000 young people are involved in applied learning programmes such as the Increased Flexibility Programme, Young Apprenticeships and KS4 Engagement, leading to a range of applied qualifications, skills, motivational developments and progression opportunities. The final report of the review of work-related learning, published on 4 October 2007, sets out how we will build on the best practice that exists to embed work-related learning across the 14-19 curriculum. A copy of the report has been placed in the House Library.