A quarter of pupils taking A-level languages are privately educated

The TES is reporting new figures that show independent school pupils make up a quarter of all entries for A-levels in French, German and Spanish.

In 2015, a total of just 10,328 pupils studied French at A-level across the UK, with 2,572 (24.9 per cent) attending independent schools, according to an analysis of exam board statistics published by the Independent Schools Council (ISC) today.

Both Spanish and German also had low entry numbers, with independent school pupils providing a quarter of both. Nationally, only 14 per cent of all A-level students are educated in independent schools.

At GCSE, where the ISC says 5 per cent of all students are independently educated, more than 60 per cent of all entries for Classics are from independent schools.

The news comes amid what many believe is a crisis in modern foreign languages at A-level. Experts have warned that up to 40 per cent of university departments could close over the next decade because of lack of demand and competition between institutions…

More at: A quarter of pupils taking A-level languages are privately educated, ISC figures show

 

In the full article Barnaby Lenon of the ISC describes independent school students as propping up some university modern language departments – why do you think this is?

Why are modern languages so unpopular in secondary schools now? And does it matter?

Please give us your insights in the comments or via Twitter…

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Categories: Private Schools and Secondary.

Comments

  1. Dai_James1942

    C_Hendrick Teaching languages in the lower streams of comprehensives a Sisyphean task, and absurd. #GreatEducationHoax

  2. There are other Level 3 (equivalent to A levels) which offer languages.  BTEC Level 3 Travel and Tourism with Languages, for example.  http://www.ucb.ac.uk/further-education/courses/tourism/full-time/travel-and-tourism-with-languages-btec-level-3.aspx  Comparing A level results only doesn’t give the whole picture.
    That said, the take-up of languages at A level is poor.  There’s not the incentive for English speakers to learn another language because so many speakers of other languages speak English.  And it wouldn’t have been helped by the Labour government removing the requirement for schools to teach MFL in KS4.  MFL teachers can’t just appear (or disappear) as Gov’t policies change.

  3. There are other Level 3 (equivalent to A levels) which offer languages.  BTEC Level 3 Travel and Tourism with Languages, for example.  http://www.ucb.ac.uk/further-education/courses/tourism/full-time/travel-and-tourism-with-languages-btec-level-3.aspx  Comparing A level results only doesn’t give the whole picture.
    That said, the take-up of languages at A level is poor.  There’s not the incentive for English speakers to learn another language because so many speakers of other languages speak English.  And it wouldn’t have been helped by the Labour government removing the requirement for schools to teach MFL in KS4.  MFL teachers can’t just appear (or disappear) as Gov’t policies change.

  4. Dai_James1942 C_Hendrick But possible.  When MFL was compulsory in KS4 our school devised a French/Business Studies course (I’ve forgotten which exam board validated it, but those were the days when exam boards could validate innovative courses, not so now).  
    It asked pupils to do things such as produce a short advert promoting a local tourist attraction suitable for TV, printing travel brochures and entertaining French speaking visitors to tea (the French ‘visitors’ were A level French pupils from a nearby comp).  It was great fun.

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