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Diplomas 'need overhaul to succeed'

The government's flagship diplomas need major changes if they are to have a viable future, the nation's college heads were warned today.

Colleges must be granted the power to teach diplomas without having to form partnerships with schools, Dr David Collins, president of the Association of Colleges (AoC), told its annual conference.

Until this happens and the newcomers have proved themselves, older tried and tested post- post- word element [L.], after; behind.

1. After; later: postpartum.

2. Behind; posterior to: postaxial.
16 qualifications must be kept going, he said.

"We support the new qualifications but there will need to be some significant adjustments if they are really to succeed on the scale that is envisaged," he said.

"Most importantly Adv. 1. most importantly - above and beyond all other consideration; "above all, you must be independent"
above all, most especially
 of all, we must not allow recognised weaknesses in the 14-16 school curriculum to drive out existing successful provision post-16."

A "skills element" must be introduced to the diplomas if they are really going to attract young people in the numbers necessary to get them properly established.

And government must relax the rule that diplomas can only be run by partnerships of colleges and schools, Collins said.

Some "excellent examples of good practice" can be found among the limited number of locations where the first five diplomas have been available since September September: see month. , he said.

But as the take-up increases "it is difficult to see how the operational complexities implicit in Adj. 1. implicit in - in the nature of something though not readily apparent; "shortcomings inherent in our approach"; "an underlying meaning"
underlying, inherent
 the present arrangements can be sustained," he said. "We must face up to that fact sooner rather than later."

Launching the AoC's 13th annual conference in Birmingham, Collins noted that colleges and not sixth-forms were now the first choice for most 16-year-olds. Last year, 737,000 16- to 19-year-olds chose to go to college and 460,000 to schools, and almost a third of colleges were judged outstanding on inspection.

He quoted John Hayes

For other people named John Hay, see John Hay (disambiguation).

John Milton Hay (October 8, 1838 – July 1, 1905) was an American statesman, diplomat, author, journalist, and private secretary and assistant to Abraham Lincoln.
, the Conservatives' further education spokesman, who said: "Colleges are the unheralded triumph of the education sector."

And he welcomed what he said was unprecedented praise in a recent joint letter from the two education secretaries, Ed Balls and John Denham John Denham may refer to:
  • John Denham (UK politician) (born 1953), British Member of Parliament for Southampton Itchen
  • John Denham (poet) (1615–1669), English poet.
  • John 'Abs' Denham is a fictional nurse in the UK television drama Casualty
, in which they wrote of the "fantastic work" colleges do.

But the establishment of the two departments – children, schools and families, and innovation, universities and skills – were a funding headache headache

Pain in the upper portion of the head. Episodic tension headaches are the most common, usually causing mild to moderate pain on both sides. They result from sustained contraction of face and neck muscles, often due to fatigue, stress, or frustration.
, he said.

"The nonsense of having no additional funds for over-recruiting 16- to 19-year-olds - a government priority area - yet having money taken away in year if we fall short of our adult targets is an unnecessary threat to the viability of some institutions and one which we must challenge."

And the ongoing funding gap between colleges and schools for the same work was "completely unacceptable", he said.

"We will continue to press for an even speedier resolution of this issue than presently envisaged. Fairness and equality of treatment The context of Equality of treatment is usually in interpersonal relations, especially in the relation of the individual to an organization (usually government). All persons are treated the same by the person or organization of interest.

No two people are treated differently.
 are fundamental values of our college system and the status quo [Latin, The existing state of things at any given date.] Status quo ante bellum means the state of things before the war. The status quo to be preserved by a preliminary injunction is the last actual, peaceable, uncontested status which preceded the pending controversy.  in these areas run contrary to both."

This September, 12,000 youngsters signed up to start the first five diplomas in engineering, construction, IT, media and health. But in some areas the take up has been very low. Official figures obtained by the Tories last week found that fewer than 10 pupils have signed up for the diplomas in some parts of England.
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Date:Nov 18, 2008
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