Established in 2015, Steve Wilshaw explained how the National Baccalaureate Trust promotes six core principles: inclusion, aspiration, challenge, breadth, balance, and coherence. The secondary curriculum they propose would deliver on core learning subjects (taken from the existing curriculum), a personal project (such as an EBQ or HPQ) and a personal development programme to cultivate real-world skills. This model is a significant improvement on the current EBacc – a purely academic curriculum with little real-world relevance. However, there did not appear to be any reference to vocational, technical, applied pathways, or qualifications for young people who wish to pursue these. I was left wondering how the proposed National Baccalaureate aims to prepare young people to make the transition to FE colleges, apprenticeships and UTCs; all of which currently provide these skills-based routes and qualifications.
The complexities and potential opportunities of a new curriculum and qualification structure within a UK National Baccalaureate need further exploration. Tom Richmond identified three core considerations in this area, the first of which was priority planning. Considering the current critical shortage of teachers; the reality of recruiting maths, science and languages teachers from overseas; and the impact on the teaching profession in terms of training for curriculum and assessment implementation, Tom questioned the viability of a new baccalaureate in the near future.