Languages: Education

Department for Education written question – answered at on 13 February 2020.

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Photo of Ranil Jayawardena Ranil Jayawardena Conservative, North East Hampshire

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he is taking to (a) encourage boys to study a foreign language at (i) GCSE and (ii) A-Level and (b) improve the performance of boys studying a foreign language at those levels.

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

​Since the Department introduced the English Baccalaureate performance measure in 2010, which includes languages, the proportion of GCSE entries from pupils in state-funded schools in a modern foreign language (MFL) has increased from 40% in 2010 to 47% in 2019. The reformed National Curriculum now makes it compulsory for pupils in maintained schools to be taught a foreign language in Key Stage 2.

We are investing in a range of programmes to increase uptake of languages at GCSE. Our £4.8m MFL Pedagogy Pilot commenced in December 2018, and is designed to improve uptake and attainment in languages at Key Stages 3 and 4. We have also launched a pilot project in MFL undergraduate mentoring for secondary school pupils to drive up participation in the subject, specifically targeting areas of high disadvantage to extend access to languages for all pupils.

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