A further 18 schools in Kent, UK, have joined an initiative to offer the International Baccalaureate’s (IB) Career-related Programme (CP) from September 2017, taking the total number of schools involved to 27. The initiative is the second phase of a successful CP pilot, initiated by Kent County Council in partnership with IB, which commenced in 2012. 

The CP is designed for students wishing to engage in career-related learning while gaining transferable and lifelong skills such as communication, critical thinking and applied knowledge. Nine schools were involved in the pilot, which resulted in a 96 percent pass rate, and increased student retention, attainment and ambitions. All nine of the schools have continued to offer the programme and will be involved in helping the schools now joining the initiative to implement the CP. 

The Career-related Programme wheel

Siva Kumari, Director General, International Baccalaureate said: “The Kent initiative is particularly heartening for the IB because it is a community committed to the betterment of children’s lives via a rigorous academic Career-related Programme. Working together with public, private, educator and IB association partners, we are looking forward to further serving the community of Kent by creating educational pathways that allow students to excel in their immediate job or professional needs and also prepare them for a lifetime of learning and success. We are deeply honoured to be a part of this educational venture and to build it on the success of the pilot.”

A previous success from the Kent pilot, CP graduate Holly-Mae Hill is now studying a high level apprenticeship in Marketing at a quantity surveyors.

With 18 schools new to the initiative, 30 percent of state schools in Kent will be offering students the opportunity to study an IB programme from 2017. Patrick Leeson, Corporate Director of Education and Young People’s Services, Kent County Council said: “By working with the IB to extend access to the Career-related Programme to 18 more schools across the county, we will continue to raise student aspirations across Kent. Thanks to the success of the first pilot we have seen students’ life chances vastly improved in deprived areas of Kent: two thirds of last year’s cohort progressed to higher education, something which would not otherwise have been expected.”

The Career-related Programme is for students aged 16 – 18 years and packages a career-related qualification (e.g. a BTEC) with at least two IB Diploma Programme courses and four unique ‘core’ components (personal and professional skills; service learning; language development; and a reflective project), the programme enables students to become self-confident, skilled and career-ready learners.

Image via IB.

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