Improved training for secondary school staff
is needed if the government's 14-19 diploma courses are to become a success, it has been claimed.
A major report into the diploma system undertaken by education watchdog Ofsted has suggested that current standards of teaching among school staff are not sufficient.
Many teachers have never undertaken the diploma style of education being promoted by the government as an alternative to academic studies, meaning the teachers have not been equipped with the necessary skills to deliver the programme effectively.
However, the report suggested that the new diplomas have so far had a positive impact on the number of young people going on to further education or employment after studying the diploma.
The report revealed that, of the 23 areas visited by inspectors, 19 had seen a reduction in the number of young people not in employment, education or training since the diploma courses had been introduced.
The government is hoping the diploma can help tackle rising levels of unemployment among young people, particularly during the recession, by giving them the skills to move into apprenticeships and other forms of on-the-job training after leaving school.