Modern Baccalaureate Logo

slider1slider1 Welcome to...
The Modern Baccalaureate closes the gap between the classroom and workplace. It explores
the fertile ground between the pursuit of knowledge and
the application of knowledge through skills in real life contexts.
A new award for the 21st Century
Inclusive for all learners
How does it work?
A flexible approach to curriculum design
The award provides a flexible framework supporting the
demonstration of a school or academy’s success in terms
of current and future government agendas.
Don't just take our word for it...

‘It is the sort of initiative such as the Modbac/Better Bac
that can begin to change the focus on the predominance
of a narrowly defined academic route, and widen the
options towards a holistic framework for equal recognition
of both academic and vocational education achievement.”

Sir Tim Brighouse

Button to go to structural diagram
 Click the icon to see the ModBac structural model


Welcome to the Modern Baccalaureate

Introduction by Andrew Chubb, Principal Archbishop Sentamu Academy, Hull.

We are currently living through one of the most turbulent periods of education that most can remember. With regular changes to curricula, assessment and accountabilities being mooted/introduced, it seems important that now more than ever is the time to adhere to principles that will benefit the learners we serve.

By providing a framework that is unifying, rather than uniform, The Modern Baccalaureate is offering an award that enables learners to follow whichever pathway is most appropriate to them, rewarding them for a wider range of achievements. This in in line with OfSTED’s recently published subsidiary guidance for the curriculum para 91, “..considering whether the curriculum has sufficient breadth and balance and the extent to which it meets the needs, aptitudes and interests of pupils”.

There are 3 main components to the award – “core”, “honours” and “skills”.

The Core award seeks to give parity to “academic”, “technical” and “vocational” courses, encourages high attainment within a broad and balanced curriculum pre-16, and specialist learning post-16, and provides the means for learners to experience a broader range of assessment methods and a balance that suits their individual needs.

The Honours section encourages learners to actively engage in a range of personal development activities (which can include areas of specific personal interest) through, for example, an extended project, a personal challenge, enterprise activities and a community-based activity.

The Skills section is flexible, enabling schools and academies to respond to the needs of local employers, or endorse skills programmes already adopted and developed.

A powerful, but simple, database enables all the learners’ successes to be recorded, and produces a certificate with a QR code. The QR code links back to the database enabling employers or university deans to check the veracity of a student’s exam certificates immediately and at no cost.

Finally, a core aim of the Modern Baccalaureate Foundation is to help establish a community of professionals who can shape current and future curriculum developments. We have already started this process, as illustrated by the case–study in which we enabled the “Design Engineer Construct!” curriculum to be assessed through an Ofqual-accredited award, enabling schools to deliver Building Information Modelling (BIM) engineering through a “High Quality Equivalent” award that carries performance table points. This is just the start; we recognise that many schools and academies will want to develop their own qualifications and awards, and the Modern Baccalaureate Foundation can support this wherever it is in the best interests of learners to do it.

Each of these features is described in more detail on this website, but please do contact us for any further details, or if you have any comments.

Andrew Chubb

April 2013

The philosophical basis for the ModBac


The Modern Baccalaureate Foundation is primarily concerned with community. It is a grass roots initiative with a curriculum philosophy focus aimed at professionals that place the highest value on evidence based pedagogy.


Finland, the top performing educational jurisdiction in the world, is committing vast resources to improve outcomes still further, by weaving a set of 21st century learning and life skills through more conventional content, delivered in thematic, contextualised challenges. They recognise that the world is changing, and that schools need to change in response to this.

link to a document about education in Finland
Tomorrow’s schoolchildren are required to:

  • be able to absorb new things quickly in the future.
  • change and cope with uncertainty and changes.
  • have the ability to distinguish.
  • between essential and unessential.
  • practice solving problems and critical thinking.
  • assess their own actions as part of society and a global operating environment.

The CBI demands that schools and higher education do more to prepare young people for the rigours of the 21st century workplace. In a recent survey of top businesses, they asserted that school leavers entering a tough labour market must have the underlying skills needed for success in any job, academically, technologically or vocationally demanding.

The OECD identifies 20th century school systems based on routine cognitive and manual skills as falling short of the needs of employers around the world; 21st century systems need to prepare students to deal with more rapid change than ever before -for jobs that have not yet been created – using technologies that have not yet been invented. If this is true of the World of work it is also true of everyday living.
Building block graphicYoung people need to learn how to learn, to develop new ways of thinking critically that involve creativity, problem-solving and decision-making. While knowledge is part of this, the type of knowledge has to change and the application of learning and ability to learn anew are of fundamentally greater importance. We have to do more than prepare the next generation of academics and administrators. We need technically skilled and enterprising young people representative of the full range of society’s needs, not just the academic sector, important as that is.

The Modern Baccalaureate, or “Modbac”, is an award that requires a much wider than usual range of learning and therefore motivates learners with more scope for the recognition that research evidence indicates is a key motivator. This more ambitious approach to educational rigour needs community support from professionals with the vision to move provision forward supported by technology to work smarter rather than harder.

Through the ModBac we are offering young people an outstanding opportunity to practice, rehearse, develop and apply a complex set of personal competencies that go far beyond rote learning or the simple “siloed” accumulation of knowledge in rigidly compartmentalised subjects. We already have all the elements available to support you in the delivery of a first class education. Modbac helps us to join the elements together with minimal cost and without massive curriculum upheaval.

All learners are included. From early primary to university entrance and from SEND to Oxbridge candidates. There are many coherent pathways supporting progression through the award that will cater for all interests, passions and aptitudes. The Modern Baccalaureate is unifying, without being uniform.

Above all, ModBac is a grass roots movement.  We recognise that local ownership is critical to success. For this reason, Modbac has been designed from the outset to be a flexible and responsive framework that can be locally shaped by a local community that is part of the wider community. We have already improved the award by listening to those who are using it, and we are committed to continued development welcoming contributions from the community for the community.

In line with this philosophy, access to the underpinning systems and resources is as low-cost as we can make it, our aim being to reduce costs further through economies of scale as more schools and academies join us. The Modern Baccalaureate is very closely aligned to the guiding principles and practice held within the “Better Bacc” initiative led by Whole Education, and progressive models of alternative accreditation being developed by groups such as HeadTeachers’ Round Table.

Andrew Chubb

Principal of Archbishop Sentamu Academy

February 2013

FOOTNOTE: Archbishop Sentamu Academy serves one of the most socially deprived communities in Hull, if not in England. Despite the national issues around grade boundaries at GCSE in Summer 2012, the school moved to 61% five plus A*-C including English and Maths, compared to just 29% in 2009. Level 2 threshold scores showed equally robust improvement, from 68% to 100% over the same period