First introduced in 2010, the English Baccalaureate or EBacc is a performance measure which recognises pupils who have attained a C grade or better in a range of core curriculum subjects at GCSE. Although the accountability measure for schools still remains as the percentage of pupils attaining 5 GCSE’s at grades A*-C including Maths and English, a school’s performance record in the English Baccalaureate allows parents to evaluate its academic rigour. It demonstrates a focus on raising aspirations and hence achievement, within curriculum subjects which are widely recognised as relevant preparation for sixth form study, in what are deemed to be the more academic A level subjects, by the Russell Group of Universities.
Made up of English, Maths, History or Geography, the Sciences and a language, the focus is on studying a range of what are widely recognised as academic subjects. One of the positive benefits of the English Baccalaureate is that it maintains access at Key Stage 4 to subjects such as languages, history and geography, where previously these might have lost out to a greater timetabling focus on the vital core subjects of English, Maths and the Sciences.
Of equal importance to offering the EBacc is a school’s ability offer a broad range of additional GCSE subjects, as well as vocational courses, to meet the educational needs of all, whatever their abilities, interests and career aspirations. Evaluating and choosing a school which offers the right courses, should be dependent on consideration of the needs of your child, as an individual.