Languages: Education

Department for Education written question – answered on 8th March 2017.

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Photo of Stephen Timms Stephen Timms Labour, East Ham

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what recent assessment her Department has made of the breadth of the range of modern foreign languages taught in schools; and if she will make a statement.

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

Maintained schools must teach a modern or ancient foreign language to pupils at Key Stage 2 and 3. At Key Stage 4, there is a statutory entitlement for every pupil in a maintained school to take a course in a modern foreign language if they wish to. Schools can choose which language to teach.

It is important to have high quality qualifications not just in French, German and Spanish but also in languages such as Polish, Urdu, Arabic, Bengali, Gujarati and Turkish.

The Government and exam boards have secured the future of these languages so pupils can study them as part of a core academic curriculum. We are also expanding the teaching of Mandarin Chinese through our Mandarin Excellence Programme.

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