University of Cambridge

State schools welcome progress on Cambridge Pre-U

14/01/2008

CIE enters the New Year having made substantial progress with the submission of Cambridge Pre-U to the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority. Dr Kevin Stannard, University of Cambridge International Examinations Director of Curriculum Development, said, “In the last few weeks crucial milestones have been passed. We are confident of swift accreditation, a necessary step in giving maintained schools the opportunity to adopt Cambridge Pre-U for first teaching in the coming academic year.”

Cambridge Pre-U is offered as an alternative to A Level for 16 – 19 year olds who wish to go on to specialist study at university. CIE has developed Cambridge Pre-U in close collaboration with teachers, schools and universities.

Richard Parrish, Headteacher, Archbishop Tenison’sChurch of England High School, Croydon, said:

‘”What makes Cambridge Pre-U particularly exciting is that it grows out of a genuine partnership between schools, universities and an examination board. I’m delighted progress is being made on accreditingit for state schools. We face a wide range of qualifications post-16, and CIE is to be congratulated on offering us an educationally interesting and coherent alternative which we can look at seriously.”

Ann Puntis, Chief Executive of CIE said, “We are delighted that our determination to make Cambridge Pre-U an option for all schools in the UK, state and independent, is bearing fruit.”

Notes to Editors:

This is a critical moment for schools facing a wide choice of new and reformed qualifications at 16-19. Cambridge Pre-U offers a rigorous, flexible and straightforward package that will be easily understood by schools, students and parents.

Following accreditation, QCA can recommend qualifications for approval by the Secretary of State under Section 96 of the Learning and Skills Act 2000. This then enables maintained schools to offer the qualification, which is funded by either a local authority or the Learning and Skills Council.

CIE has approached DCSF and the Learning and Skills Council, regarding inclusion of Cambridge Pre-U under Section 96, and UCAS for the allocation of a tariff value for Cambridge Pre-U. CIE anticipates that the full Diploma will be given a tariff value equivalent to more than four A Levels, since it consists of three Principal Subjects and a core programme, Global Perspectives and Research (GPR).

Cambridge Pre-U is distinctly different from A Level. It has a greater ‘volume’ than other Level 3 qualifications, so students get a chance to dig deeper into their specialist subjects. It is also ‘linear’ – meaning that all the exams are at the end of a two-year course – allowing a fully joined-up approach to teaching and learning, and reducing the overall burden of testing. The linear approach has been praised by the Russell Group as an excellent preparation for undergraduate study.

Individual Cambridge Pre-U subjects can be taken separately, as alternatives to A Levels. The full Cambridge Pre-U Diploma consists of any three individual Principal Subjects plus a unique core component, GPR (combining a Global Perspectives course and an Independent Research Report), which encourages students to develop the skills of independent, self-directed research and evaluation vital for success at university. GPR is available as a stand-alone certificate, and is ala so being widely adopted by maintained and independent schools as part of their curriculum enrichment programmes.

Cambridge Pre-U has been welcomed by universities seeking well-prepared students, as well as better differentiation between applicants who may have received the same grade at A Level. The support for Cambridge Pre-U demonstrates that it addresses the needs of teachers, students and universities by inspiring, challenging and rewarding students and preparing them for university; reporting achievement in a way that helps universities; and enabling teachers and schools to regain the initiative in shaping the sixth form curriculum.

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