No regrets over ditching A-levels

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A SMALL private school in North Yorkshire says that improving results and league table success show it was right to scrap A-levels in favour of the International Baccalaureate (IB).

Every sixth former at Scarborough College sits the IB diploma which involves studying in five key areas, literature, a foreign language, humanities, sciences and maths.

They are also expected to carry out independent learning and voluntary work as part of the qualification.

League tables show the school is ranked fourth highest in the region in a league table measuring performance in post-16 academic subjects. Headmistress Isobel Nixon said: “The International Baccalaureate is predicated on independent learning and I think because students cover more subjects they spend more time in the classroom and are more engaged and do not have oceans of time to sit around in the common room.”

She said the school’s results had improved year-on-year since it decided to start offering the IB in 2007 and believes this is down to gaining experience.

“A lot of people will say, ‘Well, it’s only the very top notch students who do IB’ but because we only offer it at Scarborough College we have the full range of sixth form students sitting it,” she added.