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Cornwall bac rocks GCSE exam boat

Hundreds of GCSE students are to be given the chance this year to study a Tomlinson-style qualification: the Cornwall baccalaureate.

Sara Davey, head of Mounts Bay secondary, Penzance, who came up with the concept, said it aims to keep alive some of the more progressive ideas of the former chief inspector's 14-19 inquiry.

Around 10 schools are expected to take it up in September. Mrs Davey hopes that, within three years, all 31 Cornish secondaries might offer it. The Cornwall bac will also credit pupils for their attendance record, contribution to school life and a research project.

The qualification has four levels from "graduate" to "graduate with excellence". For a "graduate" award, pupils must achieve five GCSE grade Gs, register a 90 per cent attendance rate over two years, complete a Certificate of Personal Effectiveness course and earn merit points for their contribution to school life.

For "graduate with excellence", they have to gain five GCSE As, have a 97 per cent attendance rate, gain more merit points and do a personal effectiveness certificate at a higher level.

The Certificate of Personal Effectiveness includes modules on work experience, and community work.

Students such as Rebecca Mitchell could benefit. Rebecca, 16, has been part of an anti-bullying scheme at Mounts Bay and is training to be a coach of gig rowing, a Cornish boat race at sea.

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