Plagiarism revelation sparks IB interrogation

15th October 2010 at 01:00

Anthony Seldon, having just adopted the IB's Middle Years Programme at Wellington - without the benefit of external assessment at 16 - is already willing to advise its adoption for the nation as a whole ("IB for all is preferable to 'schizophrenic' status quo, argues Wellington head", October 8). A more traditional approach of evaluating the experiences and choices of his own students before making recommendations for all the schools in the country might be appropriate. Proper research would include an analysis of the impact on students having their first experience of public examination only at 18.

An alternative to rigorous research would be to talk to the large number of IB schools who welcome the Cambridge IGCSE within their curriculum. In fact, similar numbers use Cambridge IGCSE to prepare students for the IB Diploma as use the IB's own Middle Years Programme. Proof, perhaps, that a qualification with an international pedigree and community supplies a highly useful education programme, valued by state and independent schools from New Zealand to Spain, Argentina to Germany.

At Cambridge Assessment we believe that schools and students should be given a degree of choice over the curriculum, rather than the "one size fits all" policy of the type that Dr Seldon seems to advocate.

Ann Puntis, Chief executive, University of Cambridge International Examinations.

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