Policy paper

English Baccalaureate (EBacc)

Updated 12 February 2016

The English Baccalaureate (EBacc) is a school performance measure. It allows people to see how many pupils get a grade C or above in the core academic subjects at key stage 4 in any government-funded school.

We introduced the EBacc measure in 2010. In June 2015, we announced our intention that all pupils who start year 7 in September 2015 take the EBacc subjects when they reach their GCSEs in 2020.

We ran a consultation on how to implement the EBacc from 3 November 2015 to 29 January 2016.

EBacc subjects

The EBacc is made up of:

  • English
  • mathematics
  • history or geography
  • the sciences
  • a language

English

To pass the English element of the EBacc, pupils need to do 1 of the following:

  • get an A* to C in English GCSE
  • take both English literature and English language at GCSE, and get an A* to C in at least 1 of them

Science

To pass the science element of the EBacc, pupils need to do 1 of the following:

  • get an A* to C in core and additional science GCSE (in core and additional science, pupils take 2 modules in each of the 3 main sciences: biology, chemistry and physics)
  • take 3 single sciences at GCSE and get an A* to C in at least 2 of them (the single sciences are biology, chemistry, computer science and physics)
  • get A* to C in GCSE science double award (in science double award, pupils take 2 GCSE exams that cover the 3 main sciences: biology, chemistry and physics)

EBacc qualifications

To count towards the EBacc measure, qualifications must:

  • be in 1 of the EBacc subjects
  • be regulated by Ofqual
  • be included in the key stage 4 performance tables
  • prepare pupils to go on to take the relevant A level subject or subjects
  • be graded in the same way as GCSEs (ie, A* to C for level 2, and D to G for level 1)

A full list of the qualifications that count towards the EBacc is available.