Saturday, March 17, 2012

To bacc or not to bacc?

One of the key issues we want to reach a conclusion on is the extent to which the English Baccalaureate should become a portfolio (ie a single) qualification.

We recognise the present Ebacc seeks to achieve two things:
1/ it ensures "academic" subjects, especially languages, are on the curriculum of most if not all schools; this is what we call entitlement - ensuring all students have access to these subjects.
2/ it seeks to set the benchmark students should achieve if they are to go on to do academic subjects at university - that's the portfolio bit - a recognisable qualification.

Previous Lib Dem policy sought something similar via a diploma - but unlike the Ebacc it did not specify the subjects to be included to the same extent.

Our Ebacc2 proposal merges the two.

We think it's right that languages should be an entitlement for students - available in all schools - along with maths, English, sciences, history and geography.

But we don't think you can limit a portfolio to these subjects. What about RE, economics, art, music and a number of other subjects? We can solve this by adding another option - a subject of choice to the Ebacc Mark2.

But also are we really going to require that a foreign language, achieved by the age of 16, is a requirement for admission to university "academic" studies?

So we need more clarity about the purpose of the Baccalaureate if it is to be a portfolio qualification. As an achievement to be proud of?

What are you ideas?

Could the Ebacc be made more flexible ie could students be expected to pass seven out of eight subjects (an idea closer to the original Liberal Democrat diploma proposal)? Is it useful for universities?

What purpose would it serve?

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