Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Just eight pupils pass Construction Diploma

Just 12 people took the one-year option of the Construction Diploma, while only eight of them passed, CJ has learned.

The news places more doubt over the future of the controversial qualification, designed for GCSE and A-Level pupils aged 14-19, a year after it was launched by Education Minister Ed Balls.

The Diploma generally takes two years to complete, although when pupils signed up to the course in September 2008, they were also given the choice of taking a shorter, one year course.

Around 1,500 students who signed up for the two-year course are expected to receive their results in summer 2010. The Department of Children Schools and Families (DCSF) estimated around 10,000 students would sign up for each Diploma when they were launched in 2007.


Just eight pupils pass Construction Diploma


Earlier this summer, the Foundation Course (Level I) of the qualification came under fire from schools and training consortia, which were concerned it was "too academic". Many are now thought to be looking at BTEc alternatives.

Commenting on this summer's results, a DCSF spokesman said: "The diploma is a new and challenging qualification with a broad programme of study. Trying to complete it in one year is ambitious and the small group of learners who have been successful in doing this should be congratulated. The vast majority of learners are on a two-year programme and which they are due to complete in summer 2010.

"As only a relatively small numbers of learners have completed Diplomas this year, it is hard to draw too many conclusions from these results. However, we will be looking at patterns in achievement to determine whether and where further support is needed in future."

A ConstructionSkills spokesman said: "We're currently waiting for conclusive figures from the DCSF - we do know that a number of students are waiting to finish their functional skills module, and we are expecting more conclusive data on the success of the Diploma's first year then."

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