Ministers have cut the value of more than 3,100 vocational qualifications, ending their recognition in England’s school league tables.
Michael Gove, the Education Secretary, has confirmed that the engeneering diploma will only be worth one GCSE in future, not five as it is currently valued.
The change is part of a root-and-branch review of the vocational education system, with more than 3,000 “Mickey Mouse” courses being slashed from official league tables to stop schools playing the system to boost rankings.
Under the new rules, which will affect 2014 school performance tables, the engineering diploma is to be downgraded from five GCSEs to one.
Stephen Tetlow, Chief Executive of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers said in response to today’s announcement by Government that it would be downgrading more than 3,000 vocational qualifications:
“It is welcome that engineering diplomas will still count towards GCSE league tables, but worrying that they will be downgraded to count for just one GCSE instead of five.
“An engineering diploma takes about 20 hours study time a week so this downgrade will deter schools from offering this subject.
“It is vital that we encourage more young engineering talent in this country but this decision does the reverse. Government must either urgently reassess this decision or say what it is going to do to instead put engineering back on the map in schools.”