Watson's to offer global qualification

AN INDEPENDENT school will become the first in Scotland to offer the International Baccalaureate (IB) qualification alongside Highers.

George Watson's College in Edinburgh will be one of a handful of schools selected to provide the elite qualification which is accepted around the world.

Fettes, also in Edinburgh, offers the IB alongside A-levels and GCSEs, and St Leonards in St Andrews has only offered the IB for several years.

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No local authority school in Scotland offers the qualification, though Motherwell's further education college does provide it in the state sector.

The two-year diploma is an internationally recognised alternative to Highers or A-levels, and is also offered by the International School in Aberdeen, which mostly serves the children of overseas oil workers.

George Watson's principal, Gareth Edwards, said: "Watson's has a renown which stretches across the globe and it is fitting that we offer our pupils an alternative curriculum which is international in its perspective and which at the same time develops young people beyond the academic."

A spokeswoman was keen to stress there were no moves to ditch Highers. "We believe that this makes us the first Scottish school to be able to provide this particular combination of choices."

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