Schools vying to offer diplomas revealed

The EDP can today reveal the full list of schools and colleges vying to be in the vanguard of new diplomas for 14-19-year-olds from 2009.

The EDP can now reveal the full list of schools and colleges vying to be in the vanguard of new diplomas for 14-19-year-olds from 2009.

Almost every high school and college across Norfolk has thrown its hat in the ring to teach the diplomas, which include ones in construction and the built environment, and hospitality and catering.

Nine Norfolk consortia of schools and colleges are submitting a total of 19 bids to offer the new diplomas.

They are being launched by the government to boost skills among young people and encourage them to stay in education by offering more relevant, stimulating courses alongside GCSEs and A-levels.

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But there are fears in some quarters that the diplomas may be seen as second-class qualifications because GCSEs and A-levels have been retained.

The bids will go to the government in the next few days, along with hundreds from across the country. Schools and colleges will know by the end of March if they have succeeded, and if so will be able to offer the courses from September 2009.

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The list has not yet been rubber-stamped to go forward to the government for assessment. But the likely bidders are:

t Norwich Open Opportunity (Norwich City College, City of Norwich School, The Hewett School, Notre Dame High, Earlham High, Framingham Earl High) - three bids, for health and beauty, hospitality and catering, and manufacturing and product design

t North-east Norwich (Norwich City College, The Blyth Jex School, Heartsease High, Sprowston High, Thorpe St Andrew High) - two bids, in engineering and business, administration and finance

t Wensum Partnership (Norwich City College, Costessey High, Hellesdon High, Taverham High) - one bid, in creative and media

t All Routes consortium (Norwich City College, Easton College, Attleborough High, Hethersett High, Old Buckenham High, Wymondham College, Wymondham High) - two bids, in creative and media and information technology

t Eastern Area consortium (Yarmouth College, East Norfolk Sixth Form College, Acle High, Caister High, Cliff Park High, Flegg High, Yarmouth High, Hobart High, Lynn Grove High, Oriel High) - three bids, in creative and media, IT, and social, health and development

t North-east Norfolk (Paston College, Aylsham High, Broadland High, Cromer High, North Walsham High, Sheringham High, Stalham High) - creative and media

t Extended Rural Norfolk Federation (Norwich City College, College of West Anglia, Easton College, Alderman Peel High, Aylsham High, Cromer High, Fakenham High, Litcham High, Reepham High, Sheringham High) - four bids, creative and media, environmental and land-based, hospitality and catering, and business, administration and finance

t Opportunities West Norfolk (College of West Anglia, Downham Market High, Hamond's High, King Edward VII School, Marshland High, Methwold High, The Park High, Smithdon High, Springwood High, St Clements High, Wayland High) - two bids, in construction and the built environment, and business, administration and finance

t Extended Easton Collaboration (Easton College, Acle High, Alderman Peel High, Attleborough High, Aylsham High, City of Norwich School, Coltishall pupil referral unit, Costessey High, Diss High, Fakenham High, Hellesdon High, Hethersett High, the Hewett, Dereham Neatherd, Dereham Northgate, Notre Dame High, Reepham High, Sheringham High, Sprowston High, Taverham High, Wayland High, Wymondham High) - environmental and land-based.

A number of consortia were successful earlier this year in their bids to offer diplomas from September 2008.

Of the bidders, two were not given immediate approval but were invited to make improvements to their submissions. They are now re-submitting their bids in the hope of offering the diplomas from September 2009.

The two are Open Opportunities, which is striving to offer IT, and the Wensum Partnership, which hopes to run social, health and development.

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