Morgan tells exam boards to protect Polish and other minority A-levels

The BBC is reporting that Nicky Morgan has said a future Conservative government would “guarantee the future” of GCSEs and A-levels in minority languages such as Polish, Gujarati, Bengali and Turkish…

…In a letter to the heads of exam boards, she says she has received “numerous representations” from ethnic minority communities about fears that these languages would be dropped from A-levels and GCSEs.

She says she shares the concern that young people from minority communities would not be able to study their “mother tongue or that of their parents and family”.

“I am therefore calling on you to work with the regulator to secure the future of these qualifications and reverse your decision to cancel them,” says Mrs Morgan.

If agreement was not reached, she said, a future Conservative government would launch an “immediate consultation” on “how best to secure the future of these qualifications”.

The move follows a campaign to protect these minority languages. A petition to keep Polish A-level has more than 14,000 signatures.

Following the coalition’s overhaul of the exam system, the OCR exam board said it would be dropping GCSEs and A-levels in Turkish, Portuguese, Persian, Gujarati and Dutch.

And AQA has announced the end of A-levels in Polish, Punjabi, Modern Hebrew and Bengali…

Labour’s shadow education secretary, Tristram Hunt, said: “This is a desperate attempt by the flailing Tory campaign to undo the damage that has been caused by David Cameron’s chaotic exam changes…”


Tristram Hunt lays the blame for the potential loss of these A-levels firmly at the feet of the coalition government’s exam reforms, can can anyone clarify quite why they are under so much threat?

Are you persuaded by Nicky Morgan’s pledge to secure their futures?

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


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  1. andylutwyche

    SchoolsImprove Hang on, these are the same qualifications that were specifically named as for the chop & now u-turn. What’s in it for her?

  2. TW

    @andylutwyche The Tories seem to think they are losing and are looking for anything that might get a few votes from somewhere, especially in marginal constituencies with lots of immigrant communities.  Wheeling out John Major just shows how desperate they are.

  3. SupplementaryEd

    Economic pressure and low take up are the reasons cited by exam boards. In the case of many language A levels it is true that take up is low. But still important to maintain them. 
    Even more important would be to bring back Asset Languages which is particularly well adapted for use at KS2.
    OCR dropped Asset Languages in 2011, since then compulsory KS2 language has come in. Time to bring Asset back.

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