Not all teens snub Diplomas

11th September 2009 at 01:00

I was surprised to see the article "Teenagers in the dark about Diploma as majority still insists on A-levels" (September 4), which makes such a sweeping statement about the perception of Diplomas among young people.

The Diploma is a new qualification and it takes time to ensure that learners understand them fully, especially when some attend schools that are not yet teaching the Diploma.

However, to claim that the survey shows that "most have ... decided that it is less appealing than A-levels" is misleading. A survey of 412 teenagers in the south of England is not robust.

Our students have been able to access, across Nottingham, all the current Diplomas for the past year and we have delivered two of the five Diplomas to learners from other schools as well as to our own. We have found that young people of a wide range of abilities are drawn to the qualification at the appropriate level because it allows them to apply classroom theory in a practical, work-relevant way in partnership with a range of businesses.

Academics at Reading University would do well to remember that the Diploma was introduced in response to calls from employers and universities for better prepared students.

Diploma students learn about a range of careers within a sector while gaining skills that are essential regardless of the career they choose.

Nigel Akers, Vice-principal, Djanogly City Academy Nottingham.

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