25th February 2005 at 00:00
Green paper proposes over-arching matric-ulation diploma, as a "wrapper" for GCSEs, A-levels and vocational awards.

Second green paper rejects matriculation diploma, after ministers were persuaded by teachers that it would be ignored by employers and universities. But, it says a baccalaureate-style qualification could tackle problems such as low post-16 participation by creating a single 14-19 phase.

Tomlinson 14-19 review begins. Its remit includes improving vocational qualifications, creating assessment fit for purpose and establishing a unified system of qualifications that stretch all pupils.

Tomlinson report rejects French-style bac but puts forward four-level diploma to replace A-levels, GCSEs and vocational exams by 2014. He argues A-level and GCSE "brands" must disappear over time to prevent traditionalists giving more weight to these than new vocational courses.

Government rejects diploma and keeps A-levels and GCSEs, arguing they are respected by employers and universities.

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