Tags: Curriculum Manager | Teaching & Learning Coordinator | Teaching and Learning | Vocational Curriculum

Prime Minister Tony Blair has stressed the urgency for the UK to invest in ‘human capital’ if its citizens are to survive in the global economy – but as he holds the public pursestrings, schools will be looking for cash investment from him if this need is to be made a reality.

‘Race to keep up’ Opening a new vocational college in Crawley, Mr Blair said that the UK was ‘racing to keep up’ with the growing number of skilled workers in countries such as China and India. At the launch of Central Sussex College, he said that he saw investing in vocational colleges as important as putting money into schools and universities. But following the Government’s volte-face on the Tomlinson reforms, which included plans for a diploma that mixed vocational and academic courses, curriculum managers will be looking for action to back up these words.

Board plans diploma Meanwhile, an exam board has released plans to develop a continental-style diploma as an alternative to A-levels – but as the future of A-levels is still being contested, the baccalaureate is being aimed mainly at overseas schools and those in the UK that have an international outlook. University of Cambridge International Examinations (CIE) has invited schools to have their say on how they would like the qualification to be developed. As the plans stand at the moment, students taking the diploma would study three international A-levels, one AS-level, and a curriculum extension option, which could involve more difficult questions focusing on critical thinking or extended essays and would stretch students to a standard closer to university level. The diploma aims to help students to be capable of applying new skills to meet the demands of the modern world.

For more details, see: www.cie.org.uk.

This article first appeared in Curriculum Management Update – Nov 2005

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