New qualification planned for Suffolk secondary school pupils

Have your say

PUPILS in Suffolk could sit an innovative new qualification designed to close the gap between the classroom and workplace.

The Suffolk Baccalaureate would be studied at secondary schools alongside GCSEs and teach young people the skills needed to succeed in local industries and tough employment market.

The plan is due to be unveiled to a meeting of 30 headteachers today as part of the county’s Raising the Bar initiative, which is an independent commision on educational standards and aspiration.

Joe Hallgarten, director of eduaction at the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA), which is leading the programme, said: “The bacc will enable young people to record their qualifications, experiences and wider skills, in a way that employers will really understand and value.

“Suffolk is one of only two local authorities in the country which will be piloting the Mod Bacc from 2013. This shows the county’s appetite for innovation, and the way that Raising the Bar is already building a momentum for change.”

The new measure would focus on skills such as resilience, character, confidence, flexibility, self management, team working and problem solving.

It would also educate pupils about key local industries including green energy production, agriculture and tourism.

The move follows discussions between the RSA, school heads, staff and local businesses.

Head Geoff Barton said: “We all know that Suffolk is a wonderful place in which to live, work - and go to school. But it’s also clear that we just don’t perform well enough.

“That’s why I really welcome the Raising the Bar initiative which gives us a chance to bring together schools, colleges, parents, governors and - crucially - employers to develop some exciting, distinctive ideas for raising aspirations and improving educational standards.”