I’ve spent a good part of this week shooting videos. I’ve been to schools in Lincoln and Leicester and talked with students currently doing Diploma courses. The Diploma has been back in the news over the past few weeks with the ‘academic‘ ones being scrapped, so it was interesting to actually talk to people studying and teaching some of the current batch of courses.
The students I spoke to were really enjoying the different ways of learning they got with Diploma lessons. There was plenty of time out of the classroom for trips and practical work. Teamwork seemed to be a crucial aspect of the courses and one which the students enjoyed. Neither of the schools I went to had travel issues, which has been one of the complaints about the Diploma.
I asked the students what they liked and disliked about their courses. Their answers were encouragingly enthusiastic, with none of the four people I spoke to having anything they disliked. I’m only talking to a tiny sample, but colleagues who’ve spoken to other Diploma students report the same things. So, at least for the people in our videos, the Diploma is a success.
It’s going to be very interesting to see how the new government treats the qualification. It looks like money put by to promote it has been taken away so now the Diploma will have to fend for itself in quite a crowded market. Whether it will survive is a difficult question to answer. Any views on this from people teaching them or involved in any way would be interesting to hear.