Our young people are our future thinkers, leaders and changemakers. With the onset of the fourth industrial revolution, demands for a greener economy, the impacts of Brexit and recovery from Corona-virus, we need now more than ever to prepare our young people with skills and knowledge fit for the 21st Century.
Following on from EDSK’s first report “Re-assessing the future”, this second report explores the final years of secondary education. Edge has provided support and sponsorship for this report as an important contribution to the ongoing debates about reforming assessment. By delving back in time and offering insightful historical and policy context behind A levels, Applied General Qualifications, T levels and apprenticeships, the report provides a compelling case for change, proposing instead a new ‘Baccalaureate’ model made up of a rich combination of both academic and technical qualifications. Rather than a high-stakes terminal exam, the report offers a progressive model to measure both progress and attainment, supporting students to learn and develop at their own pace.
At Edge, in “Our Plan for Schools and 14-19 education” we have long advocated for a broad and balanced curriculum, one that supports our young people to reach their full potential. We want to see our curriculum and assessment system value and blend together a broader range of knowledge as well as technical and transferrable skills such as: problem solving, communication, self-management, teamwork, creativity, numeracy and digital skills.
Resonating with much of EDSK’s recommendations, we have long advocated for a baccalaureate-style award that contains and values equally different combinations of study and experience (including academic qualifications and technical skills). We would go one step further to include extra-curricular experience such as employer interaction and the personal development that can be gained from outdoor pursuits, creative and cultural activities. All learners learn differently and as part of a more flexible learning approach, we support a move away from linear assessment being determined purely by ‘age’ to ‘stage’ giving learner’s greater flexibility to learn at their own pace.
EDSK’s Report offers an important piece of the puzzle as we move towards more radical reform of the assessment system. Together with colleagues at Rethinking Assessment we look forward to continuing a wider debate with policy makers, teachers, employers, educationalists, students and politicians.
Find out more about the work of the Rethinking Assessment movement, register for our event in July - 'Assessment – time for a rethink? In discussion with Kate Green MP' or watch the recent webinar we held with Robert Halfon MP on the topic of assessment.
‘Re-assessing the future – the final years of secondary education’ can be downloaded HERE.