20 March 2024

The decision to become all-IB

Share article:

Twenty-five years ago this month Sevenoaks made headlines for its decision to switch to an all-IB Sixth Form. The school was featured in every national newspaper and the Headmaster, Tommy Cookson, was interviewed for five different television channels. There was even a cartoon in the Times.  

When the school introduced the IB in 1978, there were only five IB students and the Diploma was taught in just four other schools in England and Wales. 

But the unusual decision proved popular with Sevenoaks students and universities. In 1996 just over half the school’s 26 Oxbridge offers were awarded to Diploma students, and by 1999, the year we decided to go all-IB, the Diploma was being taken by around half the Sixth Form. 

In A School Transformed, former Sevenoaks Undermaster Mike Bolton writes: ‘The decision confirmed Sevenoaks School’s reputation for educational innovation and showed that it was once more bold enough to strike out on its own distinctive pathway. It did so in the belief that the underlying philosophy of the IB suited Sevenoaks students and provided the best preparation for university and beyond.’ 

Sevenoaks is now a world-leading IB school, and with 45 years’ experience of teaching the Diploma, has established itself as a centre of excellence for the IB. 

Share article:

Back to all news