PROPOSALS for a Welsh baccalaureate to replace A-levels will only cater for the most able, an Assembly member claimed this week.
Alun Pugh, AM for Clwyd West, said the Welsh bac had to value academic and vocational education equally as well as developing core skills of numeracy, communication and IT.
The Assembly is committed to piloting the Welsh bac in schools and colleges.
Mr Pugh said: "Our baccalaureate must be a realistic aspiration for most of our 16 to 19-year-olds. An elitist qualification, no matter how well-designed, would fail to meet the policy imperative, raising breadth and achievement across Welsh society."
The Institute of Welsh Affairs - an independent think-tank - has proposed a ba that would let students take a common core plus six options chosen from a broad range of curriculum areas. Three of these subjects would be studied in more depth. All bacs would include a Welsh dimension, either as a language or as Welsh studies.
The bac could be studied at three levels: advanced, intermediate and foundation.
John David, the institute's bac co-ordinator, insisted the three-level structure would make the bac "inclusive".
Gareth Matthewson, head of Whitchurch high, Cardiff, agreed, adding: "If youngsters want to follow a vocational route, they can mix and match vocational subjects alongside academic ones." The institute wants pilots of the bac by 20022003.