A-Level Fears Force More Top Schools to Offer Baccalaureate

By Clark, Laura | Daily Mail (London), February 18, 2002 | Go to article overview

A-Level Fears Force More Top Schools to Offer Baccalaureate


Clark, Laura, Daily Mail (London)


Byline: LAURA CLARK

UP to 20 top schools are poised to introduce the International Baccalaureate amid growing concerns over exam reforms.

They include Winchester College, Marlborough College and North London Collegiate, the girls' school that has topped the Daily Mail's A-level league table for two of the last three

years.

Already, several schools offer the European-style exam as an alternative to A-levels - and some are planning to abandon the British system altogether.

The majority of sixth-formers at Sevenoaks School in Kent study the IB, which will be the only exam offered by 2005. At Bedford School, the IB will be taught from September 2003.

Headmaster Philip Evans said schools were fed up with government intervention: 'I don't know how much more of a critical mass it would take for the whole thing to come falling down.' King's College in Wimbledon plans to phase out A-levels completely within two years because parents have 'lost faith'

in the system.

The [pound]9,930a-year school introduced the IB last September and already 50 pupils out of 140 in the first year of the sixth form have opted for it instead of AS exams.

Headmaster Tony Evans said: 'I don't think people realise the extent of disquiet among independent schools. Nobody knows what an A-level means any more.

'I can't see any justification intellectually for staying with A-levels - they are not nearly as versatile. The baccalaureate has a broader base and, frankly, much more international credibility. …

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