Matriculation diploma moved to back burner

January 17, 2003

The government has shelved plans for the introduction of a "matriculation diploma", which was proposed last year in its green paper on 14-19 education, writes Tony Tysome.

The idea will be set aside in the government's response to consultation on its 14-19 proposals, which is expected to be published within two weeks.

The response will call instead for more work to be done on creating a coherent framework of vocational qualifications that can lead from school level, or apprentice level for those in work, up to foundation degrees.

The matriculation diploma was meant to be an overarching qualification that would embrace vocational and academic achievements as well as other elements such as key skills and work experience.

The green paper said there should be diplomas available at intermediate and higher levels, so that the qualification could be used to gain entry into employment or higher education.

College and school heads opposed the plan. They said it would be a detrimental step to introduce a new qualification structure that did not have an access or foundation level.

The previous proposal for a distinction grade to pick out the top students at A level will also be missing when schools standards minister David Miliband launches the government's plans at the Association of Colleges'

14-19 conference in London on Tuesday.

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