- English and maths studied to 18 as PM backs key recommendation of Times Education Commission.
- Rishi Sunak is drawing up plans for a radical reform of A-levels with a new style of British baccalaureate under which children would study more subjects after the age of 16.
The prime minister is expected to set out proposals to move towards a more continental-style system of education.
Under the reforms being drawn up in No 10, children would be required to study a wider range of subjects in post-16 education, and English and maths would become compulsory up until the age of 18. Sunak’s plan endorses a key recommendation of The Times Education Commission, which in its report last year called for a British baccalaureate that included “broader academic and vocational qualifications at 18”.
The prime minister also wants to create a network of “world-class” technical institutions with links to industry and modelled on the Russell Group of leading universities, with the power to award degrees. It is unclear if this will form part of the announcement.
A Department for Education spokesman said, “We have already taken steps to reform the post-16 qualifications landscape, including reforming technical education and delivering millions of new high-quality apprenticeships.
“Alongside this, we have set out bold plans to ensure that every young person studies some form of maths up to the age of 18 to give them the skills they need to succeed in the jobs of the future”.
The Times Education Commission’s final report, published in June last year, also called for a slimmed-down set of exams at 16.
It also proposed a cadre of career academies, elite technical sixth forms with close links to industry, a significant boost to early years funding and a greater use of technology and artificial intelligence in schools.
A British baccalaureate was supported by business leaders, scientists and cultural figures. Source: The Times and Sunday Times