At the moment compulsory education finishes at 16 or at GCSE level. There are plans to increase compulsory education to 18 and in order to enable this more skills and vocational courses are being offered in additional to the academic AS and A Levels known as GCEs.


Post 16 education is variously known as Key Stage 5, Sixth Form, A-Levels, College and Further Education. Students specialise even more than at GCSE and most students study three or four subjects in depth. AS Levels are usually taken after one year of study while a second year of study in the same subject constitutes an A Level. History and Art and Design are the main areas in which a collection of portraiture is important.


A set of Diplomas offered to students from 2008 to 2011 enabled hands-on and skills based learning, involving work placements and the acquisition of knowledge within an industry. These diplomas were granted in three levels (Level One, Level Two, Level Three) and were available from Year 10 on. The most relevant Diploma for museums and galleries was the Diploma in Creative and Media. Some of the ways the study of portraiture played a part in this  Diploma are outlined.




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