72. The Green Paper 14-19: Extending Opportunities,
Raising Standards was published in February 2002. It suggested
that from the age of 14 young people should follow pathways tailored
to their aptitudes and aspirations. These should include a wide
range of high quality vocational and academic programmes in school,
college and the workplace. More people should be encouraged to
stay in learning to the age of 19 and beyond. An overarching award
available to young people to recognise the breadth and depth of
achievement by the age of 19 was proposed.
David Miliband MP, Minister of State for School Standards, has
since published the results of the consultation on this paper
and highlighted his support for a Baccalaureate-style qualification.
He said that "this model, designed to suit English circumstances,
could help us to tackle long standing English problems, promoting
progression and achievement through Foundation to Intermediate
and Advanced levels. If such a unified system could recognise
the range of achievement expected by employers and higher education
then it will perform a major service to educational attainment."
73. Mr Hopkins, Principal of Peter Symonds College,
cautioned those who would replace the A level system with a baccalaureate
qualification, following the events of last Summer: "I just
do not think it is worth throwing out the baby with the bath water.
We have a perfectly good system. What people sometimes forget,
I think, when they talk about the Baccalaureate is that it involves
more examinations and assessment than the AS and A2. If everybody
in this country followed the IB who is going to mark it? The same
three exam boards."
74. Mr Gould, Master of Marlborough College,
supported the long term development of an English baccalaureate
which would develop an education for all children from 14-19 offering
a variety of routes to a qualification, but he added "for
heaven's sake do not rock the boat with where we are at the moment.
Let us keep it and let us keep working towards a more uniform
system which will be inclusive for all children within England."
Mr Neal, Headmaster of De Ashton School, added that "in the
shorter term there are many benefits that can be derived from
the AS and A2 process and because of what happened last year we
have not yet derived all those benefits".