School which scrapped A-Levels celebrates record results

Birmingham Mail, 13.07.15, a school in Edbgaston which controversially ditched A-Levels for the International Baccalaureate is celebrating as pupils clock up record results. HMC member John Claughton, Chief Master of King Edward's School, Birmingham features.

A school in Birmingham which controversially scrapped teaching A-Levels in favour for a diploma scheme is celebrating record results.

King Edward’s School in Edgbaston is understood to be the only school in the city to have entirely dropped traditional A-Levels and replaced them with the International Baccalaureate (IB) diploma.

Supporters of the IB diploma claim it offers a more rounded education compared to A-Levels, with students having to take a mix of science and humanities subjects, as well as both English and maths.

The IB, for 16 to 19-year-olds, sees students being assessed with exams at the end of a two-year period and is marked out of a maximum total of 45 points,

At KES, a fee-paying grammar school, three of its pupils - Oliver Bealby-Wright, Aleksandar Duvnjak and Harrison Shaylor - have this year clinched the top score of 45 points. Just 160 students out of 141,831 across the world who sat the diploma managed to clinch full marks.

Across the school, the average pupil scored 39 - up 2.2 points compared to the average of 36.8 points last year.

The school’s average was almost 10 points higher than the world-wide average of 29.88 points.

The results revealed that 43 per cent of the school’s IB cohort attained scores of 40 points or above – the equivalent of more than four A*s at A-Level.

Chief Master John Claughton said the school’s decision to replace A-Levels with the IB five years ago had paid off.

“These are truly exceptional results, better than anything we might have hoped for,” he added. “These results are a giant leap forward and will place us amongst the very best IB schools not only in this country, but also in the world.

“For the individual boys, it means that the vast majority of them have got their offers at the best universities and it was a pleasure to see so much delight when the results were announced.

“The move to the IB Diploma in September 2010 was, in itself, a major step and, five years on, we feel that these results show that it was the right decision.

“These boys are getting a real, broad, intellectual education and coming out with world-class results.

“All of this has been achieved through the ambition and efforts of the boys and the total commitment of the staff to their progress.

“And it has been done by a group of boys that has been remarkably successful in the other aspects of school life, from music to sport

“These are remarkable boys and this is a very proud day for this school.”

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