I’ve just seen a letter from the DfE regarding their intentions for FS and Diplomas.
Basically – Schools can (broadly) offer what qualifications they like, the list includes diplomas. Schools are now not required to offer diplomas.
The Coalition Government are keen to continue with diplomas and will be working to improve on them (this suggests to me a funding implication).
Schools in 2012 will not be required to be part of a consortium and will not need to apply through a gateway – basically just start delivering, no DfE approval is needed.
Central funding for 14-19 developments will reduce and centralised teams will finish in August 2010. QCDA will continue to offer some support for the short term. Implications for training and support …
The ‘Phase 4’ development will not go ahead (this is about creating ‘new’ diplomas).
The Diploma Formula Grant will still be paid – adjusted to reflect the actual takeup of Diplomas.
Functional Skills will start (Nationally) on September 1st 2010, no more pilot schools. Accredited FS qualifications can be found on NDAQ (http://www.accreditedqualifications.org.uk ) and are distinguished from pilot qualifications by typing ‘FS NQF’ in the Type column.
CHECK that your awarding body is approved!
Diplomas and Functional Skills are still part of the mix, easier to do but you don’t have to.