It comes as something of a breath of fresh air to see an absence of the annual debate over grade inflation with this year’s GCSE results.
Instead, there has been more of a focus on achievement. One of the reasons for this may be because this year’s results, to some extent, mark the end of an era.
This September will see pupils study the first of what will eventually be 17 vocational diplomas. Though initially causing a small ripple - only two subjects are being offered at a handful of schools this year - they are expected to gather pace.
By 2013, the full range of subjects will, in theory, be available to every pupil in the land. They will be delivered through schools consortia working in closer co-ordination than ever before together with colleges and businesses.
There are some who claim the new qualifications will see little take up and prove a disaster. But the Government has invested too much to allow that to happen.
Even if there is a change in administration in the next General Election, it is unlikely they will be halted.
If this works, it will be one of the crowning legacies of the current Government. For if ambition matches reality, the new diplomas will achieve a major shift in British mentality.
At heart, they are designed to change this country’s age-old snobbery towards practical skills. The aim is to create a society that is more like Germany where engineers are respected and valued.
Ministers maintain this sea change is vital if Britain is to compete in a global marketplace and young people whose talents are not academic are recognised.
Not to do so, they say, is to lose Britain’s competitive edge and the skills of a huge section of tomorrow’s generation.
In this, they are no doubt right. But bringing about such a shift cannot be done on the cheap.
The new qualifications will need to be of the highest standard, backed by resources and highly-trained tutors in order to be successful.
Tomorrow’s teenagers will have to travel to variety of different settings to get their education which, by its nature, will not always be suited to a traditional classroom.
The co-ordination of this brave new world will need to be properly planned. If not, the result can only be chaos and confusion.