National Baccalaureate for England. Consultation

The National Baccalaureate Trust has launched a consultation process to gather views about the idea of developing a National Baccalaureate for England. This will run for several months, leading to a full report that takes account of the responses, published with full recommendations in January 2022.

If you would like to get involved, please read the consultation document here.

If you prefer to download a pdf, here it is:

Inside the document you will find a link to the response form – a googleform – where you can provide a detailed response, upload a file with a response in any format and answer some multiple choice questions, depending on the time you have to give. Please do share your views and ideas. We’re interested in responses from individuals and organisations.

Launch Webinar. This was held in May 2021 where we set out the full rationale and explained the questions we are seeking responses to. A recording is here

This blog post also sets out the context:

A National Baccalaureate for all. There is another way!

During lockdown, when exams were cancelled and remote learning was forced upon us en masse, people started blogging and tweeting about the possibility of doing things differently on a permanent basis. More recently, as part of the exam grades fiasco, people have been discussing the flaws in our exam-dominated system and the accountability machinery that…

The introduction to the consultation document reads as follows:


Our education system has many strengths. We have fantastic teachers, innovative leaders and wonderful schools and colleges that are continuing to improve year on year.  We have an incredibly dynamic education community engaged with research and committed to seeking excellence and tackling disadvantage.  The sector’s response to the pandemic has highlighted many of these strengths. 

But, despite these strengths, too many young people, especially those judged to be at the lower end of the attainment range, are denied the opportunity to leave school with a fair record of their successes and achievements, however hard they work.   Too often, young people’s educational careers are defined solely in terms of a collection of exam results, often in a narrow range of disciplines and with inadequate regard for technical education, creative learning and personal development. 

We believe a successful education encompasses so much more than this, which is why, as members of the National Baccalaureate Trust, we have been working to design an exciting new type of leavers’ award for students in English schools and colleges, which acknowledges all our young people’s achievements, including academic and technical qualifications as well as their participation in the arts, sport and civic activity. With the range of pressures facing schools and colleges, now is the time to broaden our understanding of education so that our young people are properly equipped to thrive in the 21st century. To do this we want to invite interested schools and colleges, organisations and individuals to join us in shaping the vision for a National Baccalaureate for England.  (NBfE) 

Every school and college leaver could achieve this award, regardless of the level at which they complete their formal education, and there are strong international examples which should encourage us to devise this type of approach – the widely recognised International Baccalaureate for example. We have set out an explanation of why we believe this new, more holistic way of celebrating achievement is necessary and how it would benefit students, teachers, schools, colleges, universities and employers throughout the country.  We are confident that these changes would also bring about a radical increase in belief and investment in education on the part of our students and their parents.

We hope you will engage with a discussion on the principles and details of the ideas we have put forward and will be prepared to submit a response via our questionnaire so that our final report reflects a consensus of views across the sector to the greatest possible extent.  

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