Magazine article Public Finance

Schools Voice Muted Support for IB Qualification

Magazine article Public Finance

Schools Voice Muted Support for IB Qualification

Article excerpt

Education leaders have greeted with caution Prime Minister Tony Blair's announcement that access to the International Baccalaureate is to be widened.

In a speech to the Specialist Schools and Academies Trust last week. Blair said the IB was becoming more popular because some young people wanted to continue with a broad qualification after the age of 16.

'We believe that there should be at least one sixth-form college or school in every local authority offering students the choice of the IB,' he said on November 30.

'So we will support up to 100 extra schools and colleges in training staff to offer the qualification by 2010.'

Bul Neil Hopkins, principal of the successful Peter Symonds College in Winchester, told Public Finance that the IB was like Esperanto - a nice idea hut completely irrelevant', and was being advocated because the government was responding to pressure to denigrate the A-level.

Peter Symonds would offer the IB if there was demand, Hopkins said, but he added that there was anecdotal evidence to suggest that studying for IB often made it harder to gain entry to university, as admissions tutors were often unfamiliar with the system. …

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