The Advanced British Standard announced by the Prime Minister has been described by the Government as a baccalaureate-style programme. The proposal mirrors the flagship policy of the Times Education Commission, a British Baccalaureate, which attracted widespread support across education, politics, the arts, science and business, including the likes of Sir James Dyson, Dame Kate Bingham and Lord Martin Rees. The idea of a baccalaureate has been gaining steam in recent years across the sector including from the House of Commons Education Select Committee, and Professor Hayward’s review of qualifications and assessment in Scotland.
As for what’s next, the devil is always in the details, which Edge colleagues will be examining. Edge stepped into this space to explore the different options in detail and the difficult question of how a baccalaureate-style system might be delivered in England. In May 2023, we convened a panel of experts to understand the rationale, options and difficult considerations that might have to be taken, drawing on the international evidence, and existing models. With the help of colleagues at Rethinking Assessment, we’ve also compiled a series of reports looking at international examples,principles behind a baccalaureate, and comparisons of different baccalaureate models. The Government’s decision to double down on its plans to scrap thousands of AGQs (including many BTECs) as part of this reform will require significant thought around ensuring technical qualifications are accessible to all and high-quality. We will explore these further in our upcoming event, exploring 14-19 diplomas on 19 October (which you can register to attend here).