The debate as to whether diplomas should replace the current mixed bag of qualifications will no doubt heat up over the coming months.
I am perplexed, however, at one glaring gap in the volumes written on the subject: given that diplomas were fashioned by employers as well as educationists, how are schools and employers to collaborate in monitoring pupil progress?
As a former teacher, I am only too aware of the huge amount of paperwork involved in performance tracking. Monitoring both the academic performance and behaviour of students is a pivotal role for every educational institution. As the growing personalisation of learning has added to the challenge, so too will diplomas in terms of tracking and assessing a pupil's progress against their goals.
Can the progress of individuals be effectively measured if the educational institution concerned relies on Excel spreadsheets or paper-based files? Unless employer, educational institution and student all have access to a secure online learning space where coursework and resources can be stored, and results and achievements recorded and monitored, the new diplomas will fall short of achieving their aims.
Mark Trinick, Virtual Learning Environments Support, Orpington, Kent.