The broadness of the bac

27th June 1997 at 01:00
Nicholas Pyke misleads in describing the International Baccalaureate Organisation's diploma programme as "fiendishly tough and appropriate for, at most, 10 per cent of students" (TES, June 20).

Although once marketed by a school in the USA as a programme for the "severely gifted", in UK terms the diploma programme more or less matches the A-level cohort. It would be better described as a programme for the well-motivated college-bound student. The range of pass marks is wide: from 24 points to 45 points and universities offer places to IB students across that spectrum just as with A-levels. A combination of breadth, depth,coherence, academic rigour and internationalism make IB students particularly sought after.

DAVID RUSSELL BARNES Adviser to the director general International Baccalaureate Organisation Cardiff

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