Diplomas have been developed to provide new and innovative qualifications for 14 to 19 year-old learners and are designed to combine academic and vocational learning in order to prepare young people for progression into further/higher education, employment or training. In autumn 2010, ministers announced plans to review arrangements for the Diploma, to bring it into line with other qualifications. Please click here to read the full review.

At SMARTT North East, our students will have an opportunity to develop and practise work-related skills within a chosen employment sector. The Diploma is available at three levels:
• Foundation (level 1) – at the same level as GCSEs at grades D to G
• Higher (level 2) – at the same level as GCSEs at grades A* to C
• Advanced (level 3) – at the same level as A Levels.

At SMARTT North East, we offer and support the following Diplomas;

Creative and media
Business, administration and finance
Public services
Retail business
Sport and active leisure

What do Diplomas include?

The Diploma is a qualification which is comprised of a number of components all of which must be successfully completed:
• Principal learning – this is the sector-related learning and freestanding qualification. Its main focus is on developing knowledge, understanding and skills that are relevant to the chosen sector. Approximately 50 per cent of the Diploma is principal learning.
• Project – This is offered as a stand alone qualification and is a single piece of work that a student’s choosing related to the Diploma subject or sector area. It requires extensive evidence of planning, preparation, research and independent working. Students at the advanced level 3 Diploma will take the extended project qualification.
• Functional Skills – available in English, mathematics and ICT.
• Work experience – a minimum of 10-days, SMARTT has the availability to offer the work placements on site at Consett AFC or alternatively you can arrange your own placements
• Personal, learning and thinking skills (PLTS) such as team work and creative thinking.
• Additional/specialist learning – students are required to complete, either an additional qualification or a specialist qualification to add depth to their principal learning. Each Diploma has its own catalogue of qualifications. These can be found at Ofqual.

For further information on our Diplomas please contact us and we can arrange a visit to discuss your requirements


I have known and worked with the team from SMARTT for seven years, in my capacity as Headteacher of St Robert of Newminster Catholic School, Sunderland and Lawnswood School, Leeds.

We chose SMARTT to support our work to provide meaningful, challenging and engaging programmes for students struggling to engage with traditional academic subjects and/or lacking the key skills required for future employment and success.  The team from SMARTT has run several programmes a year for me in the time we have worked together.

Simon White, Headteacher Lawnswood School

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