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Last Updated: Thursday, 20 October 2005, 18:44 GMT 19:44 UK
Grammar school ditching A-levels
Secondary school pupils
Students at the school will begin the course in two years' time
A grammar school in Kent has voted to abandon teaching A-levels in favour of the International Baccalaureate (IB).

Barton Court Grammar, in Canterbury, is the first school in the county to completely abandon the standard exam, with the move taking effect in 2007.

Head teacher Dr Stephen Manning said the baccalaureate offered students a better all round education.

Other schools across England and Wales already offer the international diploma but run it alongside A-levels.

'Spoon fed' students

The exam was set up 41 years ago and insists pupils study English, a foreign language, maths and science until they are 18.

Dr Manning described the IB as the best qualification there was for 16 to 18-year-olds.

He said: "I think it is so good that we are going to do it whole-heartedly.

"The future of A-levels is very uncertain while the future of the International Baccalaureate is not uncertain."

He added that the course would teach students "how to think for themselves and how to use their brains instead of being spoon fed".

"They end up as very much more rounded 18-year-olds," he said.

Dr Manning said he had received positive feedback from parents and children.

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