International Baccalaureate offers career-related learning in Kent

In a ground-breaking move, the International Baccalaureate has introduced its Career-related Programme (CP) to 26 state schools in Kent.

IB career related programme
Through an initiative that has been developed in partnership with Kent County Council, 26 state schools in Kent will now offer the International Baccalaureate Career-related Programme (CP).

What is the International Baccalaureate Career-related Programme?

The International Baccalaureate Career-related Programme is part of the International Baccalaureate programme of education and is specifically developed for students who wish to engage in career-related learning.Dr. Siva Kumari, the Director General of the International Baccalaureate (IB), officially launched the CP project at Sevenoaks School in Kent following a pilot that has been running in selected schools since 2012. Since that time, the CP has opened the doors for students to progress to highly regarded higher education institutions, such as Edinburgh, Loughborough, Nottingham and Reading. Some of these students will be the first in their families to go on to university.
Dr. Siva Kumari
Dr. Siva Kumari
The CP offers students the choice of a mixture of traditional academic and career-focused subjects to study at university, such as English; journalism; computing; and finance and history.The CP provides Years 12–13 students with academic study and practical hands-on experience through an integrated package consisting of a minimum of two IB Diploma Programme subjects that are studied alongside a career-related study option such as a BTEC. It is built around a ‘core’ of personal and social development, which prepares students for higher education, apprenticeships or employment.

The International Baccalaureate philosophy

Commenting on the launch of the initiative, Dr. Siva Kumari said, “We believe that the impact of IB programmes on students from all backgrounds – and the impact that those students can have beyond school – will help to make the world a better place. The IB philosophy inspires the schools to implement our programmes for students aged 3–19, aiming for rigour in critical thinking.“Students become lifelong learners who learn to apply their learning to geopolitical, social and other issues that matter to them and to the world, and this brings content alive in engaging classrooms.” 

International Baccalaureate: a visionary project for Kent

Roger Gough, Kent County Council Cabinet Member for Education, spoke with pride about the programme. “We would like to congratulate all of the schools and Headteachers that are part of this bold, visionary project,” he said. “The CP brings together all different kinds of schools bridging vocational and academic studies. Thanks to this project we are now one of the largest hubs of IB schools in the world and this is something that we are extremely proud of.”

International Baccalaureate: bridging the skills gap? 

At the event, CP alumni who were part of the Kent pilot showcased their experiences of the programme and the opportunities it opened for them. Gough continued, “There is huge scope for employer engagement and hearing from CP alumni today is real testimony to what the programme can do.”Representatives from higher education as well as industry were in attendance to discuss the impact that the programme has on the workplace skills gap.

International Baccalaureate CP students: “workplace ready” 

James Redman, a Project Engineer at Laing O’Rourke, explained his experience of working with IBCP students and in a lively and engaging talk he spoke passionately about the benefits of IB study.“Pure academic subjects are the bedrock of education,” he said, “but students also need to develop a set of skills to ensure they are workplace ready so that employers are not dedicating time to upskill students.“The qualities that the CP develops in its students are personal skills you would normally see on a job description – this is something that has not yet been seen within a curriculum. This programme is developing intellectual freedom in its students; the CP isn’t teaching students what to think but how to think.”

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Schools involved in the Kent IBCP initiative include:

  • The Malling School,
  • Wilmington Academy,
  • Hartsdown Academy,
  • Hugh Christie Technology College,
  • The Abbey School Faversham,
  • Northfleet School for Girls,
  • Thamesview School,
  • The Leigh Academy,
  • The Maplesden Noakes School,
  • Wrotham School,
  • Aylesford School,
  • The High Weald Academy,
  • The Hayesbrook School,
  • Ebbsfleet Academy,
  • The Towers School and Sixth Form,
  • Folkestone Academy,
  • Dover Christ Church Academy,
  • Holmesdale Technology College,
  • The Leigh UTC, Dane Court Grammar School,
  • Homewood School and Sixth Form Centre,
  • Northfleet Technology College,
  • Skinners Kent Academy,
  • Sandwich Technology College,
  • King Ethelbert School,
  • The Royal Harbour Academy.

For more news and features about education in the UK and across the globe, visit our Education and Schools section. 

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