Modern Baccalaureate Logo

Overview

The Modern Baccalaureate (ModBac) recognises and celebrates learning within a whole education experience. Recognition is a key motivator and motivation is probably the most significant factor in what we achieve. The ModBac is rigorous, inclusive and flexible, providing opportunities to personalise learning and increase the breadth of recognition. This in turn supports increased motivation and ultimately raised levels of attainment.

The ModBac provides certification opportunities for all ages and all ability levels. It supports flexible progression routes and provides recognition of academic, practical, technical and vocational learning.

The ModBac is designed by professional for professionals to support good practice that is in place already in many schools. It is a grass roots community initiative. It is supported by the latest technologies and it will save teachers’ time as well as provide additional motivation to learners. These factors support raising attainment as well as saving money. The community will continue to develop free learning resources and new qualifications as the project progresses. The growth and development of a vibrant ModBac community is as important as the outcomes for individual students. 

Description of the ModBac Structure

There are 3 parts to a ModBac:

  • CORE
  • HONOURS
  • SKILLS

These parts are present at all levels.

The CORE comprises those more traditional curriculum elements that are reported on from KS2 onwards and that are examined externally at age 16 and beyond.

The HONOURS section encourages breadth and flexibility, though a range of formal and informal learning opportunities and experiences.

The SKILLS are those attributes needed for independent learning, for work and for life and are focused on employability in the later stages.

Age and attainment range

In keeping with the aims of being inclusive, motivating and aspirational, there are ModBac Awards that cover the entire age and attainment range. The ModBac framework is progressive, supporting and accrediting the step-wise development of knowledge, experience and skills from primary to tertiary phases.

The levels are:

MiniBac -> Target: Primary Schools (learners of all abilities) -> grading based on progress

MidBac -> Target: Upper Primary/Lower Secondary (learners of all abilities) -> grading based on progress

———————————————————————————————————

ModBac Entry -> Target: 14+ SEND learners, working towards GCSE standards -> grades based on attainment at Entry Level standards

ModBac Foundation -> Target: 14+ learners working at Level 1 (GCSE Grade G-D) -> grades based on progressive attainment at Level 1 standards

ModBac Intermediate -> Target: 14+ learners working at Level 2 (GCSE Grade C-A*) -> grades based on progressive attainment at Level 2 standards

ModBac Advanced – Target: usually 16+ learners working beyond Level 2-> grades based on progressive attainment at Level 3 standards

The reason for the dotted line between MidBac and Entry is that MiniBac and MidBac are certification systems for progress whereas from Entry upwards it is certification of attainment.  There is no hard and fast rule about how these should be used. MiniBac is most likely to be used in primary schools and Midbac to bridge primary to secondary transition but we are leaving it to Centre’s professionalism to decide. It might be that  a Centre uses MidBac and collects credit towards eg Entry or FoundationBac in lower secondary school. The exact usage is up to the Centre. The ModBac Foundation is simply concerned with consistency of outcomes across centres and providing support.

MiniBac

Minibac is designed for primary schools. Teacher assessors will use their judgement to decide whether the pupils’ progress is in keeping with their age and stage of development in relation to the core subjects in the primary curriculum. They can award a MiniBac certificate at any time as long as the award reinforces desirable traits associated with learning. The overall MiniBac grade is awarded based on having achieved pass grades in all three components and the highest grade of either the Core or Honours. If one is a Distinction and the other a Pass, the overall grade is Merit. Here are the possible combinations:

Core  + Honours + Skills  = Overall MiniBac
PASS PASS PASS PASS
PASS MERIT PASS MERIT
PASS DISTINCTION PASS MERIT
MERIT PASS PASS MERIT
MERIT MERIT PASS MERIT
MERIT DISTINCTION PASS DISTINCTION
DISTINCTION PASS PASS MERIT
DISTINCTION MERIT PASS DISTINCTION
DISTINCTION DISTINCTION PASS DISTINCTION

MiniBac Core Grading

Core grades can be awarded at Pass, Merit and Distinction, and must reflect ACADEMIC PROGRESS.

A Pass grade will reflect some academic progress made during the course of a learner’s studies.

Merit is for particularly good progress and should reflect something that is unusual, perhaps progress in English or Maths at greater than national rates.

Distinction is for exemplary progress. It should be used sparingly in order to maintain its impact. It may, for example, reflect progress at greater than national rates in English and Maths. Schools should be confident that their Distinction awards can be justified as something really special when discussing them with professional colleagues.

MiniBac Honours Grading

Honours grades can be awarded at Pass, Merit and Distinction in relation to learners making progress in these contexts:

  • Languages/International Study
  • Digital Technologies
  • Meeting a personal challenge
  • A project in an area of interest
  • Community work
  • Enterprise and financial awareness

A Pass can be awarded to any pupil making clear progress in at least 3 of these areas. Merit for 4 areas, Distinction for 5 or more areas. Certificates of Commendation can be awarded for individual sections for particularly good work. Official ModBac certificates cost £1 for each certificate template and schools can use them for reward in any number or combination in keeping with the guidance here.

MiniBac Skills Grading

To achieve a pass in the MiniBac skills grading the pupil should demonstrate learning progress in these skills areas. The teacher should make a judgement and be in a position to justify the judgement.

The certificates can be individually customised to acknowledge particularly strong competencies:

  • A positive attitude
  • Self-management
  • Team-working
  • Problem Solving
  • Application of literacy, numeracy and digital technologies to support their work

 

Schools are free to adopt and adapt any competency or skills-centred programmes to frame the personal development of transferable skills.  Local Area Partnerships or Academy chains may also have developed their own solutions, which are of course accepted within the framework. For Minibac it is much more likely that in primary schools, the schools themselves interpret the skills attributes appropriately in relation to the childrens’ ages and stage of development.

Schools are encouraged to look for opportunities to develop these skills within the context of careers education and future employment possibilities.

Note that the core, honours and skills sections are separated for clarity in planning and recording. In short, credit can be derived in different areas from the same activity. Learning can concurrently cover several areas, e.g. problem solving could be evidenced through teamwork, serving others and applying digital technologies. The objective is to give professional flexibility not to have mechanistic linear tick boxes related to specific sequences of tasks and activities. If this is not clear it is an indication that CPD is required and this can be provided by the ModBac Foundation.

MidBac

Midbac is designed for upper primary and lower secondary schools. It can provide cross-phase continuity. Teacher assessors will use their judgement to decide whether the pupils’ progress is in keeping with their age and stage of development in relation to the core curriculum subjects and honours and skills elements. They can award a MidBac certificate at any time as long as the award reinforces desirable traits associated with learning. The overall MidBac is awarded based on having achieved pass grades in all three components and the highest grade for the Core and Honours. If one is a Distinction and the other a Pass, the overall grade is Merit. Here are the possible combinations.

Core  + Honours + Skills  = Overall MidBac
PASS PASS PASS PASS
PASS MERIT PASS MERIT
PASS DISTINCTION PASS MERIT
MERIT PASS PASS MERIT
MERIT MERIT PASS MERIT
MERIT DISTINCTION PASS DISTINCTION
DISTINCTION PASS PASS MERIT
DISTINCTION MERIT PASS DISTINCTION
DISTINCTION DISTINCTION PASS DISTINCTION

MidBac Core Grading

Core grades can be awarded at Pass, Merit and Distinction, and must reflect ACADEMIC PROGRESS.

A Pass grade will reflect some academic progress made during the course of a learner’s studies.

Merit is for particularly good progress and should reflect something that is unusual, perhaps progress in English or Maths at greater than national rates.

Distinction is for exemplary progress. It should be used sparingly in order to maintain its impact. It may, for example, reflect progress at greater than national rates in English and Maths. Schools should be confident that their Distinction awards can be justified as something really special when discussing them with professional colleagues.

MidBac Honours Grading

Certificates can be awarded at Pass,  Merit, Distinction  in relation to the Honours sections.

  • Languages/International Study
  • ICT/Computing
  • Meeting a personal challenge
  • An extended project
  • Community work
  • Enterprise and financial awareness

A Pass can be awarded to any pupil making clear progress in at least 3 of these areas.  Merit for 4 areas, Distinction for 5 or more. Certificates of Commendation can be awarded for individual sections for particularly good work.  Official ModBac certificates cost £1 for each certificate template and schools can use them for reward in any number or combination in keeping with the guidance here.

MidBac Skills Grading

To achieve a pass in the MidBac skills grading the pupil should demonstrate learning progress in these skills areas. The teacher should make a judgement and be in a position to justify the judgement.

The certificates can be individually customised to acknowledge particularly strong competencies:

  • A positive attitude
  • Self-management
  • Team-working
  • Problem Solving
  • Application of literacy, numeracy and digital technologies to support their work

 

Schools are free to adopt and adapt any competency or skills-centred programmes to frame the personal development of transferrable skills, such as Building Learning Power, “RSA Opening Minds” competencies or ASDAN programmes, such as “Stepping Stones” or “Key Steps. Schools,  Local Area Partnerships or Academy Chains may also have developed their own solutions, which are of course accepted within the framework.

Schools are encouraged to look for opportunities to develop these skills within the context of careers education and future employment possibilities.

Note that the core, honours and skills sections are separated for clarity in planning and recording. In short, credit can be derived in different areas from the same activity. Learning can concurrently cover several areas, e.g. problem solving could be evidenced through teamwork, serving others and applying digital technologies. The objective is to give professional flexibility not to have mechanistic linear tick boxes related to specific sequences of tasks and activities. If this is not clear it is an indication that CPD is required and this can be provided by the ModBac Foundation.

ModBac Entry, Foundation, Intermediate and Advanced

MiniBac and MidBac core grades focused on achievement and progress: the emphasis now switches, in a mainly 14-19 context, to qualifications and attainment outcomes referenced to national qualifications frameworks.

The ModBac Foundation encourages innovative approaches to accelerate learning and it is left to the school to decide how to use the framework to best effect in its circumstances. All that matters is that candidates demonstrate that they can meet the criteria for any particular award.

ModBac Entry Level

ModBac Entry Level is designed for learners in KS4 that can not access foundation level directly but it can also be used to start an accelerated route in KS3 to higher levels in KS4 and KS5 and is suitable for use with most SEND learners.

There could be some overlap in the use of MidBac and ModBac Entry Level and we leave that to the school to decide.

Entry Level certificates can be awarded at any time as long as the evidence backing them is sufficient as detailed below. The overall Level is awarded based on having achieved pass grades in all three components and the highest grade of either the Core or Honours. If one is a Distinction and the other a Pass, the overall grade is Merit. Here are the possible combinations:

Core  + Honours + Skills  = Overall ModBacEntry
PASS PASS PASS PASS
PASS MERIT PASS MERIT
PASS DISTINCTION PASS MERIT
MERIT PASS PASS MERIT
MERIT MERIT PASS MERIT
MERIT DISTINCTION PASS DISTINCTION
DISTINCTION PASS PASS MERIT
DISTINCTION MERIT PASS DISTINCTION
DISTINCTION DISTINCTION PASS DISTINCTION

ModBac Entry Level Core Grading

Core grading is based on collecting credit from recognised qualifications. This can be from any QCF or NQF qualifications at Entry Level or higher including the achievement continuum widely used for learners in the SEND domain. This should include a qualification in literacy and a qualification in numeracy agreed with the ModBac Foundation.

  • For a Distinction, at least 2/3 of the credit should be at Entry Level 3
  • For Merit 2/3 at Entry 2 or higher and
  • for a Pass 2/3 at Entry 1.

In all cases  up to 1/3 of the credit can come from school based assessments.

ModBac Entry Level Honours Grading

Grades can be awarded at Pass, Merit, Distinction in relation to the Honours sections.

  • Languages/International Study
  • ICT/Computing
  • Meeting a personal challenge
  • A project
  • Community work
  • Enterprise and financial awareness

A Pass can be awarded to any pupil showing clear evidence of study across 4 of these areas. Merit for 4 areas and at least 2 of these externally verified.  Distinction for 5 or more areas with at least 4 externally verified. Certificates of commendation can be awarded for individual elements for particularly good work.

ModBac Entry Level Skills Grading

To achieve a pass in the Entry Level skills grading the pupil should demonstrate general competence at a level in keeping with the description of Entry Level qualifications in the QCF.  The support for this can be provided by any system agreed with the ModBac Foundation where all of these skills areas can be shown to be covered. A system drawing on Entry Level credit in the QCF or NQF to a value of 10 credits or more will normally be routinely approved.

The certificates can be individually customised to acknowledge particularly strong competencies:

  • A positive attitude
  • Self-management
  • Team-working
  • Problem Solving
  • Application of literacy, numeracy and digital technologies to support their work

Schools are free to adopt and adapt any competency or skills-centred programmes to frame the personal development of transferrable skills, such as Building Learning Power”, “PLTS – Personal Learning and Thinking Skills“, “RSA Opening Minds” competencies or ASDAN programmes, such as their “Personal Development Programme” or “Preparatory Programmes“.  Schools,  Local Area Partnerships or LEPs may also have developed their own solutions, which are of course accepted within the framework.

Appropriate Entry Level qualifications that support and accredit Personal Development are examples of best practice and their deployment is encouraged, to complement and supplement academic and vocational pathways.

Schools are encouraged to look for opportunities to develop these skills within the context of careers education and future employment possibilities.

ModBac Foundation Level

FoundationBac is designed for learners in KS4 that can not immediately access IntermediateBac directly but it can also be used to start an accelerated route in KS3 to higher levels in KS4 and KS5. The ModBac Foundation encourages innovative approaches to accelerate learning and it is left to the school, academy or college to decide how to use the framework to best effect in its circumstances. All that matters is that candidates demonstrate that they can meet the criteria for any particular award. FoundationBac provides a progression pathway to IntermediateBac. FoundationBac certificates can be awarded at any time as long as the evidence backing them is sufficient as detailed below. The overall FoundationBac is awarded based on having achieved pass grades in all three components and the highest grade of either the Core or Honours. If one is a Distinction and the other a Pass, the overall grade is Merit. Possible combinations are:

Core  + Honours + Skills  = Overall ModBac Foundation
PASS PASS PASS PASS
PASS MERIT PASS MERIT
PASS DISTINCTION PASS MERIT
MERIT PASS PASS MERIT
MERIT MERIT PASS MERIT
MERIT DISTINCTION PASS DISTINCTION
DISTINCTION PASS PASS MERIT
DISTINCTION MERIT PASS DISTINCTION
DISTINCTION DISTINCTION PASS DISTINCTION

ModBac Foundation Level Core Grading

Core grading is based on collecting credit from recognised qualifications. 104 credits can come from  any QCF or NQF qualifications (see the Ofqual register) at Level 1 or higher including grades D-G in GCSE. A maximum of 1/3 of the credit can come from Entry Level qualifications for a bare Pass. This is to support motivation for progression in keeping with the central aims of the programme. In general we are counting a GCSE grade D-G as 13 credits so 8 GCSE grade D-Gs would be 104 credits. Qualifications in the QCF at Entry level and level 1 all have credit values so we can use these directly and combine them with GCSE D-G. As long as at least 2/3 of the credit is D-G GCSE or at level 1 a pass can be awarded. For higher grades all 104 credits need to be at level 1 and/or GCSE D-G grades.

A recognised qualification in literacy and a recognised qualification in numeracy must be included.

In summary:

  • for a Pass at least 2/3 of the credit should be at Level 1 or higher. This includes GCSE grades D-G. The remaining 1/3 can be at Entry Level.
  • For a Merit 2/3 of the credit should be at Level 1  Merit or GCSE grade E or higher. The remaining 1/3 should be at Level 1 or in the case of GCSE grade G or higher.
  • For Distinction 2/3 of the credit should be at Level 1  Distinction or GCSE grade D.  At least a G or pass is then required in the other 1/3.

ModBac Foundation Level Honours Grading

Grades are awarded at Pass, Merit and Distinction in relation to the Honours section. The elements in the honours section are listed below.

  • Languages/International Study
  • ICT/Computing
  • Meeting a personal challenge
  • A project
  • Community work
  • Enterprise and financial competence

A Pass can be awarded to any pupil showing clear evidence of study across 4 of these areas. Merit for 4 areas and at least 2 of these externally verified.  Distinction for 5 or more areas with at least 4 externally verified. Certificates of commendation can be awarded for individual sections for particularly good work.

ModBac Foundation Level Skills Grading

The certificates can be individually customised to acknowledge particularly strong competencies:

  • A positive attitude
  • Self-management
  • Team-working
  • Problem Solving
  • Application of literacy, numeracy and digital technologies to support their work

Schools are free to adopt and adapt any competency or skills-centred programmes to frame the personal development of transferrable skills, such as “Building Learning Power”, “PLTS – Personal Learning and Thinking Skills“, “RSA Opening Minds” competencies or ASDAN programmes, such as their “Personal Development Programme” or “Excelsis.

Appropriate qualifications that support and accredit Personal Development are examples of best practice, to complement and supplement academic and vocational pathways.

Schools,  Local Area Partnerships or LEPs may also have developed their own solutions, which are of course accepted within the framework.

Schools are encouraged to look for opportunities to develop these skills within the context of careers education and future employment possibilities.

To achieve a Pass in the FoundationBac skills grading the pupil should demonstrate competence in each of the skills areas at a level in keeping with the description Level 1 qualifications in the QCF. The support for this can be provided by any system agreed with the ModBac Foundation where all of these skills areas can be shown to be covered. A system drawing on Level 1 credit in the QCF or NQF to a value of 13 credits or more will normally be routinely approved.

ModBac Intermediate Level

ModBac Intermediate is designed to be a progression step to Advanced ModBac accreditation.

The ModBac Foundation encourages innovative approaches to accelerate learning and it is left to the school, academy or college to decide how to use the framework to best effect in its circumstances.

All that matters is that candidates demonstrate that they can meet the criteria for any particular award. ModBac Intermediate certificates can be awarded at any time as long as the evidence backing them is sufficient as detailed below. The overall ModBac Intermediate grade is awarded based on having achieved pass grades in all three components and the highest grade of either the Core or Honours. If one is a Distinction and the other a Pass, the overall grade is Merit.

Possible combinations are:

Core  + Honours + Skills  = Overall ModBacInter
PASS PASS PASS PASS
PASS MERIT PASS MERIT
PASS DISTINCTION PASS MERIT
PASS DISTINCTION* PASS DISTINCTION
MERIT PASS PASS MERIT
MERIT MERIT PASS MERIT
MERIT DISTINCTION PASS DISTINCTION
MERIT DISTINCTION* PASS DISTINCTION
DISTINCTION PASS PASS MERIT
DISTINCTION MERIT PASS DISTINCTION
DISTINCTION DISTINCTION PASS DISTINCTION
DISTINCTION DISTINCTION* PASS DISTINCTION*
DISTINCTION* PASS PASS DISTINCTION
DISTINCTION* MERIT PASS DISTINCTION
DISTINCTION* DISTINCTION PASS DISTINCTION*
DISTINCTION* DISTINCTION* PASS DISTINCTION*

ModBac Intermediate Level Core Grading

Core grading is based on collecting credit from recognised qualifications. The 122 credits for the core can be gained from GCSE A*-C grades and GCSE D-G grades. We have assigned 16 credits for GCSE grades at A*-C and 13 credits for GCSE D-G. GCSE equivalents at Level 2 will generally have 16 credits in the QCF although this can vary a little. Level 1 qualifications will vary in credit size but can be combined to give up to 1/3 of the 122 credits required.

Any QCF or NQF qualifications at Level 1 or higher including grades A*-C in GCSE can be used. Qualifications are listed on the Ofqual Register.

A maximum of 1/3 of the credit can come from Level 1 qualifications for a bare Pass. This is to support motivation for progression in keeping with the central aims of the programme.  GCSE English and maths at a minimum of grade C must be included. In summary:

  • for a Pass at least 2/3 of the credit should be at Level 2 or higher. This includes GCSE grades A*-C. The remaining 1/3 can be at Level 1.
  • For Merit 2/3 of the credit should be at Level 2 Merit or GCSE grade B or higher. The remaining 1/3 should be at Level 2 or in the case of GCSE grade C or higher.
  • For a Distinction 2/3 of the credit should be at Level 2 Distinction or in the case of GCSE, grade A. The remaining 1/3 should be at Level 2 Pass or GCSE grade C or higher.
  • For a Distinction* 2/3 of the credit should be at Level 2 Distinction* or in the case of GCSE, grade A*. The remaining 1/3 should be at Level 2 Pass or GCSE grade C or higher.

Modbac Intermediate Level Honours Grading

Certificates can be awarded at Pass, Merit, Distinction and  Distinction* in relation to the Honours sections. The elements in the honours section are listed below.

  • Languages/International Study
  • ICT/Computing
  • Meeting a personal challenge
  • An extended project
  • Community work
  • Enterprise and financial competence

A Pass can be awarded to any pupil showing clear evidence of study across 4 of these areas. Merit for 4 areas and at least 2 of these externally verified.  Distinction for 5 or more areas with at least 4 externally verified.  Distinction* for all areas and all externally verified. Certificates of commendation can be awarded for individual sections for particularly good work.

ModBac Intermediate Level Skills grading

The certificates can be individually customised to acknowledge particularly strong competencies:

  • A positive attitude
  • Self-management
  • Team-working
  • Problem Solving
  • Application of literacy, numeracy and digital technologies to support their work

Schools are free to adopt and adapt any competency or skills-centred programmes to frame the personal development of transferrable skills, such as “Building Learning Power”, “PLTS – Personal Learning and Thinking Skills“, “RSA Opening Minds” competencies or ASDAN programmes, such as their “Personal Development Programme” or “Excelsis.

Appropriate qualifications that support and accredit Personal Development are examples of best practice, to complement and supplement academic and vocational pathways.

Schools,  Local Area Partnerships or LEPs may also have developed their own solutions, which are of course accepted within the framework.

Schools are encouraged to look for opportunities to develop these skills within the context of careers education and future employment possibilities.

To achieve a Pass in the IntermediateBac skills grading the pupil should demonstrate competence in each of the skills areas at a level in keeping with the description of Level 2 qualifications in the QCF. The support for this can be provided by any system agreed with the ModBac Foundation where all of these skills areas can be shown to be covered. A system drawing on Level 2 credit in the QCF or NQF to a value of 13 credits or more will normally be routinely approved.

ModBac Advanced Level

ModBac Advanced is designed to be a progression step to Higher Education or employment. The ModBac Foundation encourages innovative approaches to accelerate learning and it is left to the school, academy or college to decide how to use the framework to best effect in its circumstances. All that matters is that candidates demonstrate that they can meet the criteria for any particular award. ModBac Advanced certificates can be awarded at any time as long as the evidence backing them is sufficient as detailed below.

The overall ModBac Advanced grade is awarded based on having achieved pass grades in all three components and the highest grade of either the Core or Honours decides the overall grade. If one is a Distinction and the other a Pass, the overall grade is Merit. Note that for a bare pass not all of the credit has to be at Level 3. This is part of the inclusion strategy to support transition from Level 2 to Level 3. The details are given below. Possible combinations for Core, Honours and Skills are:

Core  + Honours + Skills  = Overall ModBacAdv
PASS PASS PASS PASS
PASS MERIT PASS MERIT
PASS DISTINCTION PASS MERIT
PASS DISTINCTION* PASS DISTINCTION
MERIT PASS PASS MERIT
MERIT MERIT PASS MERIT
MERIT DISTINCTION PASS DISTINCTION
MERIT DISTINCTION* PASS DISTINCTION
DISTINCTION PASS PASS MERIT
DISTINCTION MERIT PASS DISTINCTION
DISTINCTION DISTINCTION PASS DISTINCTION
DISTINCTION DISTINCTION* PASS DISTINCTION*
DISTINCTION* PASS PASS DISTINCTION
DISTINCTION* MERIT PASS DISTINCTION
DISTINCTION* DISTINCTION PASS DISTINCTION*
DISTINCTION* DISTINCTION* PASS DISTINCTION*

ModBac Advanced Level Core Grading

Core grading is based on collecting credit from recognised qualifications. This can be from any QCF or NQF qualifications at Level 3 or higher including grades A*-E at GCE A level. A maximum of 1/3 of the credit can come from Level 2 qualifications for a bare Pass. This is to support motivation for progression in keeping with the central aims of the programme. In summary:

  • for a Pass at least 2/3 of the credit should be at Level 3 or higher. This includes GCE grades A*-E, QCF credit such as BTEC and City and Guilds and credit from qualifications in other national systems referenced to Level 4 in the European Qualifications Framework. The remaining 1/3 can be at Level 2.
  • For Merit 2/3 of the credit should be at Level 3 Merit or GCE A level grade C or higher. The remaining 1/3 should be at Level 3 or in the case of GCE A level grade E or higher.
  • For  Distinction 2/3 of the credit should be at Level 3 Distinction or in the case of GCE A level, grade A. The remaining 1/3 should be at Level 3 Pass or GCE A level grade E or higher.
  • For Distinction* 2/3 of the credit should be at Level 3 with Distinction* or in the case of GCE A level, grade A*. The remaining 1/3 should be at Level 3 Pass or GCE A level grade E or higher.

In order to get credit equivalence for A levels and other academic qualifications we have assigned 50 credits to a full A level. This is 500 hours of study and includes Guided learning hours AND homework whereas the usual allocation is simply 360 Guided learning hours.  We need an equivalence because qualifications in the QCF and the European ECVET system have their sizes based on credits of 10 hours of learning including self-supported study and work experience whereas the size of an A level is based on teaching time. Within the measurement uncertainty, 50 credits is a reasonable allocation for an A level. Credit from other academic examinations can be agreed as the need arises. Qualifications in the QCF are already based on credit.

ModBac Advanced Level Honours Grading

Certificates can be awarded at Pass, Pass with Merit, Pass with Distinction and Pass with Distinction* in relation to the Honours sections. The elements in the honours section are listed below.

  • Languages/International Study
  • ICT/Computing
  • Meeting a personal challenge
  • A project
  • Community work
  • Enterprise and financial competence

A Pass can be awarded to any student showing clear evidence of study across 4 of these areas. Merit for 4 areas and at least 2 of these externally verified.  Distinction for all areas with at least 4 externally verified. Distinction* for all areas and all externally verified. Certificates of commendation can be awarded for individual sections for particularly good work.

ModBac Advanced Level Skills grading

The certificates can be individually customised to acknowledge particularly strong competencies:

  • A positive attitude
  • Self-management
  • Team-working
  • Problem Solving
  • Application of literacy, numeracy and digital technologies to support their work

Schools are free to adopt and adapt any competency or skills-centred programmes to frame the personal development of transferrable skills, such as  “PLTS – Personal Learning and Thinking Skills“, “RSA Opening Minds” competencies or ASDAN programmes, such as  “Excelsis.

Appropriate qualifications that support and accredit Personal Development are examples of best practice, to complement and supplement academic and vocational pathways.

Schools,  Local Area Partnerships or LEPs may also have developed their own solutions, which are of course accepted within the framework.

Schools are encouraged to look for opportunities to develop these skills within the context of careers education and future employment possibilities.

To achieve a Pass in the AdvancedBac skills grading the pupil should demonstrate competence in each of the skills areas at a level in keeping with the description Level 3 qualifications in the QCF. The support for this can be provided by any system agreed with the ModBac Foundation where all of these skills areas can be shown to be covered. A system drawing on Level 3 credit in the QCF or NQF to a value of 25 credits or more will normally be routinely approved.

Apprenticeships

Apprenticeships are a special case because they are substantially about demonstrating competence in the work place supplemented by formal qualifications. In order to set a reasonable set of equivalences for Apprenticeships the ModBac Foundation provides the following recognition of Core credit for successful apprentices in order to make the ModBac available to them:

ModBac Intermediate

Core

A successfully completed apprenticeship will be worth 122 Credits and a Pass

For Merit the candidate must demonstrate Merit Level grades as a minimum across the formal qualifications that are part of the Apprenticeship or in subjects worth 96 credits from prior learning and the apprenticeship qualifications. For Distinction, Distinction Level grades as a minimum across the formal qualifications that are part of the Apprenticeship or in subjects worth 96 credits from prior learning and the apprenticeship qualifications. For Distinction*, Distinction* Level grades as a minimum across the formal qualifications that are part of the Apprenticeship or in subjects worth 96 credits from prior learning and the apprenticeship qualifications.

Honours

The rules for Honour are the same as for the ModBac Advanced outside the Apprenticeship but external validation can come from the Apprentice’s employer.

Skills for Employment

The skills for employment are inherent in the apprenticeship and can be validated by the employer.

ModBac Advanced

Core

A successfully completed apprenticeship will be worth 150 Credits and a Pass

For Merit the candidate must demonstrate Merit Level grades as a minimum across the formal qualifications that are part of the Apprenticeship or in subjects worth 100 credits from prior learning and the apprenticeship qualifications. For Distinction, Distinction Level grades as a minimum across the formal qualifications that are part of the Apprenticeship or in subjects worth 100 credits from prior learning and the apprenticeship qualifications. For Distinction*, Distinction* Level grades as a minimum across the formal qualifications that are part of the Apprenticeship or in subjects worth 100 credits from prior learning and the apprenticeship qualifications.

Honours

The rules for Honour are the same as for the ModBac Intermediate outside the Apprenticeship but external validation can come from the Apprentice’s employer.

Skills for Employment

The skills for employment are inherent in the apprenticeship and can be validated by the employer.

Joining the Community

ModBac community symbol

The Modern Baccalaureate community welcomes all those who want to support a professional practical framework for the whole curriculum for all learners. Joining the community is free just click here. The cost of becoming a ModBac Centre is low to enable all those who are like-minded to come on board through their institution.  Just use the contacts form to get in touch or ring 01827 305946. You can use as much or as little of the Modbac resources as you want. The Modern Baccalaureate is a community project and community will always come before products and services. With a strong community we can get things done and lead initiatives for better education based on collective professional experience. The products and services simply provide us with a starting focus. Paying the basic registration fee shows your commitment to the community but you also have access to a motivating framework and a great range of technological support. The annual membership fee is

Primary schools and small institutions with a role of fewer than 400 learners

Centre registration £129

Secondary schools and larger institutions with a role of 400 and more learners

Centre registration £199

The only other basic cost is £1 per certificate template for printing certificates. This is done locally from the web site so there are no postage costs and very little administrative overhead. All ModBac certificates have to be printed on the official templates.

Some aspects might be more easily tackled with additional help and services and we want Centres to decide this for themselves. An indicative list of these services and costs is given below. Please contact us for anything that is not on the list and we will do our best to help. There is no pressure on you to take up any of these, it is your decision.

Centre registration provides access to an on-line recording system for the credit and grades of the ModBac components in any particular award and all awards are available to the Centre. The on-line system is “access technology” neutral and can be operated from any up to date standards compliant web browser on any operating system. It will automatically generate a certificate that can be printed and authenticated from the web site using a QR code on the certificate or by entering the certificate identification number in the web site authentication page. There is also a more detailed transcript available that effectively verifies all the candidate’s component qualifications in one place. This can optionally include a school reference for employer.

All teacher/assessor participants have to agree to uphold professional standards before they can use the service and that is the first level of quality assurance in the certification process. It relies on professional integrity and is therefore incurs the minimum bureaucratic overhead and the minimum cost. All Centres must nominate a Principal Assessor who is the single point of accountability for standards within the Centre. The Principal Assessor is authorised to confer assessor status to other colleagues for elements of the ModBac that are not evidenced by existing formal qualifications such as GCSE, QCF qualifications and similar.

Centre registration also covers the use of an on-line evidence management system that can be used for the Hons and Skills components but also provides progress tracking. This includes referenced links to the entire national curriculum with statements of attainment broken down into assessment criteria and the Pscales for SEND learners. This aspect is not mandatory and Centres can start simply with their own systems and migrate to automation at a pace to suit themselves.

Printing certificates

Certificates must be printed on official ModBac templates. These can be purchased for £1 from TLM, simply e-mail an order to CT@modbac.org The purpose of this is to give consistent presentation and to provide a minimal income to sustain the service. Minimum quantity per order is 50 + P and P.

Training

Training can be offered on any aspect of the ModBac to groups of up to 12 trainees for £300 per half day session. ie the greater the number of delegates the lower the cost per delegate. To book a training course e-mail training@modbac.org.

We recommend the following training courses for new participants.

  • Use of the technology to record outcomes, print and verify certificates
  • The ModBac structure and what it can do for your learners
  • Ideas and opportunities to use the ModBac to reduce your costs
  • The use of evidence management systems, progress tracking and reporting

In addition to these we will arrange any training to meet individual needs through dialogue with you. We are also interested in your ideas for new qualifications or other initiatives that can complement the ModBac framework. ModBac is designed by professionals for professionals and is as much about its community of users as it is about the product.

Additional quality assurance

In most cases core qualifications are already subject to costly quality assurance. We do not intend to add to these costs unnecessarily. Any Ofqual accredited qualifications will be accepted on face value subject to the Centre’s assessors clicking the website button to agree to uphold standards during the registration process. We will investigate reported malpractice and reserve the right to exclude any Centre where malpractice is proved. This is in line with general regulatory principles for any qualification.

Where internal assessment is used – eg to claim the higher grades for honours, there will be a nominal ModBac Foundation fee to cover these costs. This will be £300 for an annual visit to the Centre to check out the proposal, to endorse it and to check any opportunities to improve or develop it. We intend the visit to be a formative experience. It is NOT an inspection, more a professional dialogue with a common interest in raising standards.

A further £300 will cover the cost of sampling and feedback during the year. The purpose of sampling will be to check that evidence is in keeping with the assessment criteria and levels providing feedback to help the Centre adjust to the required standard. There is no concept of “failing the submission”, rather it will be a matter of requesting further evidence because that submitted is insufficient. This should be rare once the Centre has practical experience of what is expected and can apply its own professionalism to maintain standards.

There is a full on-line evidence management system that can be used to support evidence submission. It can be used to track progress and offers free value added such as tracking progress though the National Curriculum attainment targets and assessment criteria. The use of this is not mandatory (we are not trying to sell technology) but experience shows that it can save you and us time and that in turn will keep costs down and reduce the administrative burden on teachers giving them more time to spend teaching and personalising learning for their students. The ModBac Foundation is providing a community service and we will use technology to support the service where it is beneficial to do so but we will avoid forcing people to use particular technologies as we think they should enjoy the professional freedom to choose the best ways of managing the learning process.

Badges

ModBac badges and certificates of commendation are available to add to the positive rewards that teachers can use in conjunction with the ModBac framework.

ModBac as a qualification

The Modern Baccalaureate is not currently a qualification that is regulated by Ofqual. It does not fit into any particular regulatory category and there would have been constraints on how the framework is developed by going down that route too early. Since substantial components of a ModBac are already subject to the regulatory system there is no great advantage in adding to the administrative overhead but we will keep this under review in case the position changes.

Administrative method

We have been very careful to design the ModBac to minimise the bureaucratic overhead. There are two reasons for this. The first and most important is that any time teachers spend on administration is less time spent on learning. The second is that we want to keep the costs to a minimum. We have based the strategy on the fundamental principle that the ModBac gives recognition to good practice where it already exists without having to make radical changes for the sake of change. We are also providing open standards based technologies to support administration in the following way:

The on-line mark book enables the collection of the summative data by either directly entering it into a simple table on the web site or by providing the data in a spreadsheet which can then be uploaded. The data once entered will then be used to generate the certificate.

There are further supportive on-line systems for managing evidence, tracking and monitoring progress that can feed directly into the mark book but these are entirely optional. We know they can save significant amounts of time but they need a little effort in familiarising.

Once a school signs up and becomes part of the ModBac community it will get access to the on-line markbook and there is on-line help there to explain how to input data. The videos linked here also provide a tutorial about what to do. You can ring for telephone support. We will also provide CPD at your site for up to 12 people per session. This is optional and there is a charge for it.

In terms of content, the ModBac is based on good practice most high performing schools achieve as a matter of routine, we are just providing a streamlined way of recognising the achievements learners make so that individuals get due reward.  You can participate in as much or as little as you like, perhaps starting with where you are and gradually adding or revising provision over time.  We have far more support systems than most schools will be able to take on in one go and some may still want to do things in different ways. We understand this and we want to make it clear that we aren’t trying to force anyone down a particular route. Join in at the pace that suits you best.

Concurrency

There is some overlap between different components of the ModBac so will there be repetition if for example a student takes an IT GCSE in the Core, does a computing project in the Honours and does an office skills qualification in the employment skills section?

We are primarily interested in what learning outcomes are achieved. There is no reason why a single activity can not generate Credit in more than one component. While it is likely that there will be at least contextual differences between a particular activity concurrent credit is a good thing to encourage because it helps make links between subjects and/or components and Credit is only approximate overall. A single activity that can provide evidence against several criteria in different curriculum areas should not be unusual.