changes in education this year

Posted on September 05, 2008 by Amy Tolmie
Categories: Secondary,

14-19 diplomas



Starting this term are the first five diplomas in engineering, construction, information technology, creative and media studies, and society, health and development. There will be 17 in place by 2011. The new qualifications are intended to be an alternative to GCSEs and A-levels for 14- to 19-year-olds, blending hands-on learning and theory. Read more about 14-19s diplomas here.


NEWS about the diplomas: Local authorities are adapting well to the 14-19 education reforms that include the new diploma, according to a report by Ofsted.The report, which examined how 16 local authorities introduced the reforms, rated 12 authorities as good, three as satisfactory and one as poor. read more here.

School leaving age



Pupils starting secondary school in England this week are expected to be the first year group legally obliged to stay on in education or training until 17. Read the story in the Guardian here, or on the BBC news here.


Key Stage 3



Changes to the secondary curriculum begin this month and take place over the next two years. The idea behind the changes is to make pupils "successful learners, confident individuals and responsible citizens" – based around the government's Every Child Matters agenda – and there is less prescribed subject content and more focus on key concepts and skills. Read about it here.


A Level curriculum



Most A-levels will now be made up of four units, instead of six previously. The new A-levels are designed to stretch and challenge the students. The changes also include the introduction of an A* grade.
It will recognise the highest achieving students that get an A grade overall and 90% or more on the Uniform Mark Scale (the marking scale that makes all marks comparable) across their A2 units.
Some pupils will also be able to undertake an extended project which will develop their research and analysis skills and should give them an edge in university applications.
Read more here.