The National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER) and the University of Exeter were commissioned by the Department for Education to carry out a national evaluation of Diplomas. Diplomas for 14- to- 19 year-olds were introduced by the previous government as a major innovation in educational opportunity for young people in England, and were first taught in 2008.
The main aims of the evaluation were to assess the impact of the diplomas on learners - in terms of attainment of qualifications and progression to further (FE) and higher education (HE) and to review the implementation and delivery systems of diplomas.
This has been assessed by analysing nationally available datasets, which provide details of attainment and can be analysed to explore progression following the diploma course. Telephone interviews were also conducted with 25 Year 12 learners and 17 ‘Year 14’ learners who had participated in a diploma either pre- or post-16.