The English Baccalaureate: one step forward, two steps back?
Love it or loathe it, the English Baccalaureate raises important questions about what should be in the school curriculum and for what reasons
Coalition plans to introduce the English Baccalaureate (EB) have been seen by some as a return to academic sense – a pruning of an overcrowded curriculum in order to focus attention on real subjects. Others point out that – just like New Labour before them – it is yet another example of government interference and prescription to make schools measurable, accountable – and elitist. Dave and Kevin will assess whether there is anything in the Baccalaureate idea that makes it an educational step forward - two or three steps forward perhaps? Or is it, as Mary Bousted of the ATL complains, an attack on the needs and creativity of the whole child? Just what is it about the EBacc idea that has provoked such a luke-warm response from fellow educators? After all, once the aspiration to provide a broad academic based education for all was seen as part and parcel of a progressive society – today it is seen by many as an obstacle to social progress. Often asserted, this change is rarely explained.
Love it or loathe it, the English Baccalaureate raises important questions about what should be in the school curriculum and for what reasons; as well as who should decide what our children learn at school. At the end of the day, does it matter what they learn as long as they are happy and learn something….?
The Education Forum discussion format is specifically designed to explore what it is you might have been thinking but were previously unsure about asking, so please join us at this interesting debate!
Dave Perks, head of physics, Graveney School
Kevin Rooney, head of social science, Queens’ School