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News - 29 September 2007

New diploma links education to jobs in Brighton

Brighton & Hove is taking a new approach to education. A new diploma is being introduced that will make the link between education and employment in a way that has not been done before.

The new diplomas are an alternative to traditional GCSEs and A levels. They aim to give young people an insight into work and provide the skills, knowledge and understanding they need for further or higher education and employment.

A young person with a diploma should have a fully-rounded education, having reached the required standard in maths, English, ICT, personal development skills and business and work-related subjects, all delivered through a curriculum that combines classroom study with learning by doing it in a practical environment.

The diplomas have been developed nationally in collaboration with employers and universities to ensure their relevance. They offer at least 10 days work experience. Priority is also given to developing students’ ability to work independently.

Students can join the diplomas at three different levels.

  • Level 1 is equivalent to four or five GCSE passes at grade D to G;
  • Level 2 to five or six GCSE passes at grade A*-C; 
  • Level 3 equivalent to three A levels.

In Brighton & Hove the Society, Health and Development diploma will be available from September 2008. It’s a diverse programme of applied learning within occupational contexts across the health, social care and community justice sectors.

It introduces young people to the significance of these varied sectors, including the policies and practices that shape them and their influence on the lives of individuals and communities. In September 2009 two further diplomas will be available: Construction and the Built Environment; and Creative and Media.

The chair of the partnership board driving the introduction of the new diplomas in Brighton & Hove is Andy Schofield, headteacher of Varndean School. He says, ”The new diplomas are an exciting step forward. They’re an alternative to subject-based learning offered by GCSEs and A levels in both subject matter and learning style.

“They offer the kind of learning that will give students the knowledge, skills and attitude they need to succeed not just in education, but in life and work. It’s a combination that will, I believe, prove very attractive to young people.”

For further information about the 14-19 diplomas, visit or contact the council's skills and learning team on 01273 294287.

Read related items on:
Learning Opportunities
Learning & Skills
Brighton & Hove City Council
Varndean School
Schofield, Andy

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