Flagship qualification has failed the test
Who can blame pupils and parents now for utter confusion over the standing of Scotland’s flagship education qualification, the Baccalaureate? It was supposed to be the outstanding mark of excellence to which schools aspired. Now they are finding that it does not have the currency they expected of it within universities.
Pupils and parents are told that highers remain the gold standard in Scotland. But what is the standing even of highers results, given that so many universities now are accepting students with GCSEs?
There is now a danger of a total muddle in our education system. Schools and their pupils need a clear and universally accepted mark of outstanding academic attainment for pupils as a recognition of top-class work. It is this clear structure that provides incentives for schools and real motivation for pupils. The issue has been highlighted by the decision of George heriot’s, Scotland’s top-performing school, to stop offering pupils what is supposed to be the Scottish Government’s top qualification. It says the award is not recognised by universities.
That is a disappointment for pupils and parents, and a considerable effort by staff gone to waste. Urgent clarification is now surely due from the Education Secretary.