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New Inquiry to Examine The Welsh Baccalaureate?

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A new inquiry by a National Assembly committee will look at how much people understand about the Welsh Baccalaureate qualification (Welsh Bacc), how it benefits learners, higher education and employers, and how much it is valued.

The Children, Young People and Education Committee has opened a public consultation and is inviting people to send in their views.

The Welsh Bacc was restructured in 2015 to strengthen personal development through a Skills Challenge Certificate which assesses a young person’s suitability for further study or employment.

Alongside the Skills Challenge Certificate, learners continue to study a selection of GCSE, AS and A level, and vocational qualifications.

There have been concerns at how the Welsh Bacc is seen by universities with some not accepting the qualification as part of their offers, including Oxford University, and others not considering it for medicine and veterinary courses. However, many universities accept the Welsh Bacc as an equivalent A-level.

Although the Advanced Welsh Baccalaureate is currently optional for 16-19 year olds in Wales, the Welsh Government wants all schools and colleges to offer the qualification.

“The Welsh Baccalaureate is a key part of the Welsh Government’s education strategy and is designed to help young people secure higher education study or have the personal skills needed to be job-ready when they enter the employment market,” said Lynne Neagle AM, Chair of the Children, Young People and Education Committee.

“But we want to know if it delivers these aims, and how much people understand about the Welsh Bacc, what it means for learners, parents, schools, colleges, universities and employers.

“I would encourage anyone who has either completed the Welsh Bacc, is currently undertaking it or who delivers it to contribute to our inquiry and help to inform our recommendations.”

The Committee has set up a survey for both students and parents to complete, a Dialogue online conversation for employers to take part in, and an online survey for higher education institutions to confirm their admissions policy in relation to the Welsh Bacc.

Anyone wishing to contribute to the inquiry should visit the Committee’s web pages for more information.