From September 2015 (first entry 2016) any AS level or Level 3 Core Maths qualifications will count towards the breadth element of the AQA Baccalaureate (AQA Bacc).
This is due to the DfE announcement – following the reformed GCSE and A-level subject content consultation – that A-level and AS level General Studies cannot be redeveloped under government changes to A-levels. The last assessment will be summer 2018.
The AQA Bacc comprises:
- three A-level subjects (a student's main subject choices)
- independent learning through the Extended Project Qualification (EPQ)
- skills development through Enrichment activities: work-related learning, community participation and personal development
- breadth through one AS level, A-level or Level 3 Core Maths qualification, provided that this differs from a student's main programme of study.
The AQA Bacc can be based on A-levels awarded by any awarding body. Students achieve a grade of Pass, Merit or Distinction.
The overall AQA Bacc grade indicates:
- consistency of performance in A-levels and the EPQ
- achievement in a broadening subject
- the development of valuable skills, aptitudes and personal qualities via work experience, volunteering and personal development activities.
What people are saying about the AQA Bacc
Current practice includes some outstanding qualifications, which are widely respected across the world, command credibility with students, parents, employers and higher education and that are rigorous... recent developments such as the AQA Bacc have demonstrated that it is possible to enrich and extend existing academic qualifications to provide more rounded and coherent learning programmes. (From Labour's Policy Review, Qualifications matter: improving the curriculum and assessment for all)
This is different to the English Baccalaureate, which is a performance measure rather than a qualification, and was launched to encourage schools in England to promote a range of academic subjects to age 16. The AQA Bacc gives students an edge in the highly competitive process of moving from school to employment or Higher Education. By combining core A-level subjects with wider learning and enrichment activities, the AQA Bacc enables students to display the necessary personal skills and academic abilities.