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Labour calls for a 21st Century Baccalaureate

Wednesday 28th September 2011

The Guardian has reported that Shadow Education Secretary Andrew Burnham will address the Labour Conference today about creating a modern Baccalaureate for pupils. It’s reported that his idea will be presented as an alternative to the education secretary Michael Gove’s English baccalaureate. The current award, introduced by Secretary of State for Education, recognises students who achieve good GCSE results in maths, English, a science, a language and geography or history and Mr Burnham will argue that the English baccalaureate does not focus on the right subjects and is "damaging" the chances of some students by not equipping them for typical 21st century modern life and flexible working lives.

"We [need to] give young people the qualities they need to succeed in this century: communication skills, leadership skills, the ability to be resourceful, adaptable, because they’re going to have ten to 15 jobs in a way that their parents or grandparents never did."

Andrew Burnham will tell the conference: "It’s indefensible that Latin is promoted above ICT, engineering, business studies or economics in the English bacc. It’s indefensible that creative subjects don’t feature," the Guardian quoted.

Also in his speech, Burnham will also call for a Ucas-style applications system for apprenticeships to offer the same clear route to apprenticeships for school leavers as there is to universities.


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