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Specialised Diplomas

Volume 486: debated on Thursday 15 January 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how many students who started a new diploma course in September 2008 have since withdrawn from the course; and if he will make a statement. (244533)

There is usually some fluctuation in learner numbers and qualifications at the beginning of the autumn term. We asked local authorities to provide us with diploma learner number information at the end of September, in order to allow for some of the initial fluctuation to have occurred and so to gather more accurate figures. Local authorities told us that just over 12,000 young people started a diploma course this term. We collected this information for funding purposes, and we have not collected revised figures subsequently.

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what assessment he has made of the progress of the 14 to 19 Partnerships in planning for the delivery of the entitlement to 17 diploma lines across the country by 2013. (247245)

14-19 Partnerships provide an assessment of their progress in delivering all areas of the 14-19 reform programme through 14-19 Progress Checks. Progress Checks assess a Partnership’s ability to meet the 14-19 entitlement, including delivery of the Diploma entitlement, and help them to identify where they may need to take further action. The latest round of Progress Checks in October 2008 showed that 14-19 Partnerships are making good progress on the delivery of 14-19 reforms, with 89 per cent. of areas rated Green or Amber Green.

As part of the application process for the Diploma Gateway, 14-19 Partnerships have been asked to outline their strategy for ensuring delivery of the Diploma entitlement by 2013. The results of the Gateway will be available in March.