Schools minister Jim Knight has urged independent schools to teach the new IT diploma.
The course is one of five new diplomas available from September 2008, and has been developed by the sectors skills body E-skills, in conjunction with higher education and IT employers.
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The government is keen to get the course offered to private school pupils, and Knight insisted the diploma will be a good path to university and an IT career.
He said, "Diplomas will let independent schools offer a greater choice, a wider variety of 'best' preparation for university and careers. All young people should have the opportunity to benefit from the excellent education they will provide."
Eventually, 17 Diplomas, including courses in traditional academic disciplines of science, languages and humanities, will be offered. The government plans to review all secondary school qualifications in 2013.