GCSE results: language entries drop for second year running

The TES is reporting that the number of entries for language GCSEs has dropped for the second year running, despite a government bid to increase uptake by including languages in the Ebacc.

This year’s GCSE results, published today, show that entries in German dropped by 9.8 per cent to 54,037. Entries in French fell 6.2 per cent to 157,699 and those in Spanish fell 2.4 per cent to 90,782.

Entries also fell in 2014, following a surge in 2013 in response to the introduction of the EBac measure.

In German, entries have now fallen back to a level below the figure for 2012.

Vicky Gough, schools adviser at the British Council, said the figures were “disappointing”.

“The reality is that as this general decline continues, the UK risks falling behind on the world stage,” she said. “Employers are crying out for more language skills. We all need to realise that learning a language isn’t just a rewarding way to connect with another culture but will boost job prospects, too…”

More at: GCSE results: language entries drop for second year running


This does seem disappointing after there seemed to be a turnaround after the inclusion of languages in the Ebacc system.

What do you think is behind this and what can or should be done to boost the popularity of languages, especially French and German?

Or should we stop worrying about it and just let the numbers decline further?


Don’t forget you can sign up to receive our daily email bulletin every morning (around 7 am) with all the latest schools news stories. Your details will never be given to anyone else and you can unsubscribe at any stage. Just follow this link

GCSE results 2015: Boys catching up with girls as gender gap reduces
Exam boards warned new GCSEs are ‘too easy’
Categories: Secondary.


  1. DiLeed

    .SchoolsImprove Going to mention the shameful lack of support/appropriate qualifications for L1 heritage languages one more time. A waste!

  2. mrcitythinks

    SchoolsImprove HJAhere should it not read ‘for a second’? Looks like standards were low back in the day as well!!!!!??!??

  3. dawson_serena

    DiLeed jowinchester SchoolsImprove Yes, and I was so disappointed by this week’s comments on Russian and Polish exam entrants.

  4. DiLeed

    .dawson_serena jowinchester SchoolsImprove Just shocking. Constant undermining and sniping at any attempt to sustain bilingual literacy.

  5. dawson_serena

    DiLeed jowinchester SchoolsImprove Encouraging our students to do Russian, Polish etc good for them, and also for our results, not gaming

Let us know what you think...