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					COMMUNICATIONS TEAM
Town Hall, Castle Circus, Torquay, Devon TQ1 3DR Main Switchboard (01803) 201201 Direct Lines (01803) 208850 /51 Fax (01803) 299878 • DX 59006 www.torbay.gov.uk

NEWS RELEASE
PR 1440 29 January 2008 For Immediate Release

Launching Torbay's first Diploma
Torbay’s Diploma in Creative and Media is being officially launched at an event on Wednesday 30 January (tomorrow) at 6.00pm at Oldway Mansion, Paignton.

Torbay pupils in Years 9 and 11 will be some of the first in England to study for a Diploma from September.

This new qualification is part of the current government drive to re-organise the secondary school curriculum in order to better prepare young people for their future employment within UK industries and companies.

The Torbay 14-19 Learning Partnership, which embraces all the Torbay secondary schools and South Devon College, is fortunate to be at the cutting edge in delivering this course as one of the first areas in the UK to implement this Diploma scheme. The Torbay consortium of eight secondary schools and South Devon College is one of only seven such groups in the South-west to offer one of the new national specialised Diplomas.

Cllr Anna Tolchard, Cabinet Member for Children's Services said: "This new Diploma scheme is fantastic news for the young people of Torbay. These new qualifications will help students to progress towards skilled jobs and further and university education.

"Pupils in Years 9 and 11 in local secondary schools are now choosing their options for September 08 and the launch event has been timed to help them with these choices. Attending the launch will inform them about the course, how and where it will be taught,

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how they will be assessed and what employers think about it. The event also gives them the opportunity to talk to school and college staff, or Connexions advisors, to get advice and guidance about the best options for them in Year 10 or 12. “The new Diploma will allow students to progress to further study, university or work. Students will be able to choose Diplomas alongside GCSEs or A-levels or in place of them as they uniquely combine essential skills and knowledge, hands-on experience and working with employers.

"These are exciting times for the Bay and for the local schools and colleges whose students will be among the first people to benefit from these brand new qualifications."

The Diploma scheme provides exciting new ways of learning for 14-19 year-olds enabling greater motivation, wider achievement and better progression pathways at all levels. They form the key part in the national agenda to ensure that Torbay has an appropriately educated and skilled workforce in the UK.

Employers have been involved in the development of the new qualifications from the start, so that Diplomas bring them what they need – young people with sound reading, writing, maths and ICT skills, who come equipped with an understanding of the industry.

Torbay's Creative and Media Diploma will be taught in partnership by Brixham College, St Cuthbert Mayne School and South Devon College, although pupils from all Torbay secondary schools can choose the Diploma as part of their option choices. Specialist teachers will use the best facilities at each centre and pupils will have some lessons in their own school and some in other locations to get the best of all worlds.

The foundation and higher Creative and Media Diploma will be taken instead of some GCSE options and may include one other GCSE subject as additional learning; but pupils will still study English, maths, IT and science alongside the diploma as well as PE, RE,

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Citizenship and Personal, Social and Health Education (PSHE). The higher Diploma is worth up to 6 GCSEs, A* to C.

Torbay pupils will be studying the Diploma in very different ways to their other studies as they will be more involved in the planning process and they will follow a project format for some units. The course will cover many disciplines including art, dance, drama, graphics, IT, media, music, music technology and photography. Diploma students will follow briefs set by teachers and employers and will put on shows, presentations and exhibitions that parents, friends and employers will be invited to attend. The Diploma will give students the opportunity to develop their own ideas, work with others to solve problems within set deadlines and experience the world of work in the Creative and Media Industries.

Jason Haines, Head of Creative Arts at Brixham College, a specialist Arts College, has worked with pupils to design a Diploma polo shirt for pupils from all schools to wear on the course. Jason said: “We are really looking forward to working with pupils from across Torbay to harness the creative talents of all our young people."

Adam Shaikh, Head of Media at St Cuthbert Mayne, explained that developing the new course has been beneficial for bringing together Art and Media staff from across the Bay: “It’s been great to work with some different teachers to plan a stimulating and rewarding course for the pupils. When we get together as a group the creative ideas really began to flow”.

The new Diplomas have been developed with employers and universities, who will also be represented at the launch at the end of January. Creative and Media is a big employment sector in the South-west and the Diploma is designed so that it will provide good pathways to both work and university. The advanced Diploma is worth more than 3 A levels and will be available at South Devon College next year with specialist teaching input from some schools. Matt Harbour, Head of Creative Arts at the college, is enthusiastic: “The Diploma is fantastic for young people who love being creative; if they study this at school they can

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come on to college to study either the advanced Diploma or any of our other specialist creative arts courses”.

Young people and parents can also investigate courses available across Torbay from age 14 through the online area prospectus www.options4me

The Torbay 14-19 Learning Partnership has applied to run five more Diplomas from 2009 and is excited to be in the forefront of Diploma developments.

For more information about the Creative and Media Diploma launch, or Diplomas in general, please contact Liz Porter (14-19 Development Officer) on 01803 208915 or email: elizabeth.porter@torbay.gov.uk

-ENDSPhoto opportunity Launch event: Location: Oldway Mansion Date / Time: Wednesday 30 Jan @ 6pm Notes for editors Young people in the current years 9 and 11 will be the first to have the opportunity to choose the specialised diploma when they select their options in Spring 2008. This will pave the way for the introduction of 13 further specialised diplomas over the next seven years.

Background on Diplomas: • The first five Diplomas will be ready for teaching in 2008. They will be in the areas of: construction and the built environment; IT; creative and media; health and social care and engineering.

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• From September 2009, a further five Diplomas will be taught for the first time – in landbased and environmental studies; manufacturing; hair and beauty; business administration and finance; and hospitality and catering. These will be joined in 2010 by Diplomas in public services; sport and leisure; retail; and travel and tourism. • The Diploma will provide an attractive learning route for young people of all abilities who see the blend of theoretical and applied learning as more motivating and engaging than either purely theoretical or occupationally specific training. • Diplomas can be taken at level 1, 2 or 3. Level 1 is equivalent to four or five GCSE passes; level 2, five or six GCSE passes at grade A* to C. Level 3 is equivalent to three Alevels and will be accepted by universities and colleges as well as allowing students to go directly into work if appropriate. • Diplomas give young people first hand experience and insight into the world of work and a broad based understanding of one or more sectors of employment preparing them to make informed choices of career or further study. • There is a vital work experience element in Diplomas so that learning through doing is increasingly taken into the workplace. This will help ensure a sound understanding of an area of employment.

For further information please contact: Sophie Gray, Communications Officer on 01803 207048

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