Modern Foreign Languages: Teachers - Question

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 12:08 pm on 10th March 2021.

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Photo of Lord Watson of Invergowrie Lord Watson of Invergowrie Shadow Spokesperson (Education) 12:08 pm, 10th March 2021

My Lords, the Minister stated in answer to the noble Baroness, Lady Coussins, that the slashing of bursaries for language trainees from £26,000 to £10,000 was the result of what she called “difficult financial decisions”. That cut makes no sense. The bursaries should have been retained as the result of an educational decision. There is a pattern here: the latest figures for the recruitment of language teachers showed that only 72% of the target was met, yet the DfE is ending its system of early career payments of up to £3,000, which were aimed at aiding teacher retention. As our distance from the EU grows, how can the Government justify making a career as a language teacher less attractive?