Schools to be rewarded for technical skills with ‘Baker baccalaureate’

Schools will be rewarded for teaching more technical and practical lessons and fewer traditional subjects under a new league table indicator designed to measure how many pupils get engineering and work-readiness training alongside an academic grounding. This is from the FT…

Lord Baker, who served as education secretary in the late 1980s, is introducing the measure, formally called the technical baccalaureate, that will highlight schools teaching skills that manufacturers and engineers believe that Britain is lacking.

The 78 year-old peer, who is promoting a chain of new technical schools, said pupils should be able to study “technical subjects such as engineering as part of a rigorous programme of study, including English, maths and science”.

The Baker baccalaureate for 16-year-olds will be a rival to the English baccalaureate – a league table metric announced by Michael Gove, education secretary, which shows whether schools offer a traditional curriculum.

Mr Gove’s “Ebacc” records how many pupils in each school win a C grade or better in GCSE English, maths, a foreign language, two sciences and either history or geography.

The “Baker bacc” drops the language and humanities subjects. In their place, pupils must pass a technical qualification, obtain work experience, demonstrate IT skills, complete an extended project and show they have basic employability skills.

Schools are highly responsive to league tables. If head teachers can show they are doing well on the Baker Bacc measure for 16-year-olds, it will reduce pressure to do well on the EBacc. It is, however, possible to do well on both.

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