Times of London Education Commission highlights the benefits of IB programmes


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The future of assessment in UK schools should be modelled on the International Baccalaureate’s programmes, a major new report commissioned by the Times of London has found.

The Times Education Commission was a year-long project looking into the provision of schooling and universities across the UK. Its commissioners included celebrated educationalists Sir Anthony Seldon and Dame Sally Coates—and the final report was also discussed by two former British Prime Ministers.

The publication, which is being widely discussed in education circles globally, calls for A-levels to be scrapped and replaced by a “British Baccalaureate”, which would be modelled on the “widely respected” International Baccalaureate.

The commission also praises both the Diploma Programme (DP) and the Career-related Programme (CP) and discusses extensively how both have been adopted by Impington Village College, a state-funded school in Cambridgeshire, England.

The IB is delighted to be recognized by such an eminent report. The commission quotes Sir Jeremy Farrar, one of Britain’s greatest living scientists and the director of the Wellcome Trust, on the DP.

“I’m a great fan of the breadth, at least until the age of 18,” Sir Jeremy Farrar said. “The focus on facts is not what will define progress in the coming decades. It’s the ability to synthesize and have an appreciation of and respect for different disciplines.”

Speaking after the publication of the final report, Director General Olli-Pekka Heinonen, said:

"It is very exciting to see the IB being held up as the best in class in an inquisitive, thoughtful, and compelling report such as the one published this week by the Times of London’s Education Commission. I was delighted to give evidence to the commission as part of its investigation last year, and I know first-hand the full depth of their work looking into the education for all young people in 2022."

"As such, it is exciting that the commission, which was made up of some of the best thinkers the UK has to offer, is so keen to learn from the IB – and indeed to model so many of their recommendations on our programmes. At the IB, we also understand the importance to continue to adapt our approaches as the world evolves".

The full report can be found here.

Photo: ©IB/UWC USA/2017