Languages: Education

Department for Education written question – answered on 4th December 2015.

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Photo of Jim Shannon Jim Shannon Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Health), Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Transport), Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Equality)

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps her Department is taking to increase the number of school children studying foreign languages.

Photo of Nick Gibb Nick Gibb Minister of State (Education)

Since September 2014, maintained primary schools in England have been required to teach a modern or ancient foreign language to pupils at key stage 2 (covering the ages 7 to 11).

The Government took action in 2010 to halt the decline in the number of school children taking language GCSEs by introducing the English Baccalaureate (EBacc). This has had a positive effect on the take up of languages in schools, with a rise in the proportion of the cohort in state funded schools entered for a modern foreign language from 40% of pupils in 2010 to a provisional figure of 49% in 2015.

As part of the Government’s commitment to increase the numbers of pupils taking the EBacc, all but a small minority of pupils who started secondary school this September will be expected to study a language to GCSE level. We are consulting on these proposals. To attract further applicants for initial teacher training (ITT), we have increased bursaries for secondary languages ITT trainees for 2016/17.

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