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The National Baccalaureate and ASDAN

A group of leading educationalists have got together over the last couple of years to develop The National Baccalaureate Trust, which hopes to introduce a new National Baccalaureate (Nat Bacc) by 2025. This is in response to a commonly held belief that the way the current education system recognises the achievement of young people has ‘inherent’ flaws. The Nat Bacc has, at its heart, the goal of providing a broad education. This is unlike the current system that ‘narrowly’ focuses on examination outcomes.

The three main features of the Nat Bacc are:

 Core Learning – appropriate levels of examinations in academic and technical learning.

  • Personal Project – including accredited projects or research courses.
  • Personal Development Programme – 100 to 150 hours of active learning experiences that will feature physical, creative, cultural and community service elements.

ASDAN has always provided highly sought after Curriculum Programmes, which are used by many educational organisations, and these fit very neatly into the third feature of the Nat Bacc. ASDAN Programmes include specific Short Courses, for example Careers and Experiencing Work, PSHE and Citizenship. A broader curriculum can be found by accessing the Bronze, Silver and Gold Personal Development Programmes, which offer imaginative ways of developing, recording and certificating a wide range of young people’s personal skills, qualities and achievements. Furthermore, these link to nationally recognised qualifications. 

All of these programmes provide inclusive opportunities that do not dismiss any of the learner’s achievements; this closely matches the objectives of the Nat Bacc Trust. Part of the focus for this inclusive Nat Bacc is to help young people detail their achievements for employers. All too often, employers question whether high grades alone indicate what they need to know about a candidate. This is now becoming a major concern, which the current narrow curriculum has created.

Using the ASDAN Careers and Experiencing Work Short Course as part of a future Nat Bacc will help the personal development of young people. The Gatsby Organisation report from 2014 entitled ‘Good Career Guidance’ echoes these sentiments of social mobility which is part of ASDAN’s vision and values; ‘Good career guidance is important for social mobility because it helps open pupils’ eyes to careers they may not have considered’.

This guest blog was written by Gareth Lewis, writer of the THIS Education blog. You can follow Gareth on Twitter @GarethLewis76



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