Mandarin Language

Department for Education written question – answered at on 10 October 2016.

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Photo of Steve McCabe Steve McCabe Labour, Birmingham, Selly Oak

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what plans she has to ensure the Mandarin Excellence Programme is delivered to all local authorities in the UK; and how many (a) schools and (b) pupils in Birmingham are planned to start the programme this year.

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

The Mandarin Excellence Programme offers intensive study in the language. The programme is expected to result in at least 5,000 young people heading towards a high level of fluency in Mandarin Chinese by 2020.

Secondary school pupils in an initial 14 secondary schools will study Mandarin for eight hours a week – a significant increase on the time pupils currently spend on the subject.

Currently two schools in the Midlands, one in Coventry and one in Walsall, have joined the programme. Around 300 pupils are expected to join the programme this year. There will be further opportunity for schools to apply to join the programme in subsequent years.

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