Lord Baker, founder of the UTC programme and Chairman for the Edge Foundation, explains in his latest paper 14-19 Education: A new Baccalaureate, how a new broader curriculum of academic and creative subjects will help students reach their full potential and lead to greater employment opportunities.
Lord Baker said:
Our workforce needs a new set of skills, including expertise in emerging technologies. This narrow academic curriculum is regressive and will severely limit learning of the technical and creative subjects we desperately need in our new digital age.
Currently, 90% of 14-16 year olds in the UK take the English Baccalaureate (EBacc), a performance measure that requires them to study English literature, English Language, maths, at least two sciences, a foreign language and either history or geography. As it stands, there is little room for students to take up other creative subjects such as computer science, art or music, and in the last five years, there has been a 27% drop in GCSE entries for design and technology subjects.
Following the publication of Lord Baker’s paper, Edge Foundation is calling for the government to broaden the EBacc in order to give students a better chance of developing the skills employers are looking for in newly developed technical fields of work.
Lord Baker’s vision is for a new curriculum with a solid academic core alongside design and technology subjects, which will create an easier pathway to employment for students. This will also help students who find themselves struggling with their learning to become more focused on their studies and develop their talents.
Lord Baker said:
In my vision for 2025, all students would follow a single, coherent 14-19 framework leading to a leaving diploma recognising the full range of academic and technical achievement including GCSEs, A Levels and technical qualifications.
Chair of the Working Group for 14-19 Reform, Sir Mike Tomlinson, has commented on these proposals:
It is a springboard for all young people to take their place with confidence in an ever-changing employment scene. If this is to happen, then a high quality technical education has to be available as part of a baccalaureate structure which recognises all aspects of a good, rounded education.
Read and download the full report here.