Students first in country to get diplomas

STUDENTS in North Somerset are among the first in the country to be offered new diploma qualifications.

STUDENTS in North Somerset are among the first in the country to be offered new diploma qualifications.

From September, North Somerset will be offering six further diplomas in business, administration and finance, engineering, society, health and development, hair and beauty, construction and the built environment and hospitality.

Since September 2008, young people in North Somerset have had the opportunity to study two of the new 14-19 diplomas in creative and media and information technology.

The Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF) has this week also given approval for further diplomas to be offered from September 2010 and 2011.

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North Somerset will be one of a small number of council's piloting diplomas in public services, travel and tourism, and land based and environment.

From September 2011 the council will be piloting the sport and leisure diploma.

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This follows a successful bid to the DCSF to pilot the new choice of qualifications for 14 to19-year-olds.

North Somerset secondary schools are working with Weston College and other partners to deliver the new qualifications which combine academic study with practical learning in and out of the classroom.

They are designed to sit alongside the existing GCSE and A Level qualifications and will provide the opportunity for further study in higher education and university.

Cllr Jeremy Blatchford, North Somerset Council's executive member for Children and Young People's Services, said: "We are delighted that the hard work put in by staff and teachers in our schools, at the council and at Weston College has paid off.

"We have once again successfully demonstrated to the DCSF that partnership working between the council, schools, Weston College, Connexions and other partners results in the commitment, expertise and enthusiasm to deliver these new qualifications to a high standard. North Somerset continues to be a leading council in the country for diploma development.

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