Independents shun the Scottish baccalaureate

31st August 2012 at 01:00
Only seven pupils from independent schools were entered for the Scottish baccalaureate last session - a drop for the second year running

Nationally, there was a slight increase - to 182 compared with 174 in 2011.

Figures released this week by the Scottish Council of Independent Schools showed that 15 pupils from the sector took the qualification in 2011 compared with seven last session.

Simon Pengelley, head of Morrison's Academy in Crieff, told TESS that although it had entered pupils for the qualification in 2011, there had been no uptake in the 2011-12 academic year.

"It is not that any members of staff have been dissuading pupils, but there is a perception out there that you don't gain any advantage from doing the bacc in terms of university entrance and it could be argued that it makes it slightly more difficult," he said.

With university entrance becoming more competitive, pupils wanted to focus on getting the best grades possible and were concerned that the additional work involved in the baccalaureate and interdisciplinary project might distract from that, said Mr Pengelley.

David Knapman, head of Dollar Academy, said five of his pupils had done the science baccalaureate last session compared with four in science and three in languages in 2011.

"We think the qualification is good preparation for university work. Even though universities do not make conditional offers based on Scottish baccalaureate results, it can be a useful addition to the applicant's personal statement and we are aware of candidates who have been able to talk very successfully about their interdisciplinary project at interview," he added.

This year, schools can enter pupils for two new baccalaureates - in expressive arts and social subjects.

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar,, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today