English Baccalaureate

Department for Education written question – answered on 8th October 2019.

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Photo of Lord Black of Brentwood Lord Black of Brentwood Conservative

To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans, if any, they have to review the English Baccalaureate following the recommendations from two former Ofsted Chief Inspectors that it should be discontinued.

Photo of Lord Agnew of Oulton Lord Agnew of Oulton The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Education

The department want all pupils to have opportunities to succeed, irrespective of their background. The English Baccalaureate (Ebacc) is an important part of this.

Research published in August 2017 by the Centre for Longitudinal Studies found that EBacc students had a greater probability of progression to all post 16 educational outcomes. In 2010, just 22% of pupils studied the EBacc at GCSE.

We have made progress, with the proportion of pupils taking the EBacc increasing to 38%, and very significant increases in the take up of science, history and geography. The department is working to increase take-up, especially of languages, by introducing a range of programmes including, for example: the £4.8 million modern foreign languages pedagogy programme, an undergraduate digi-mentoring scheme, and the £10 million Mandarin Excellence Programme. We are encouraged by a 2018 Department for Education survey that found that 73% of parents would advise their child to take a language at GCSE.

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