Latin should be included in the national curriculum to avoid it becoming a “Cinderella language”, Education Secretary Michael Gove is being told. This is from the Independent…
At present, the Department for Education has a list of languages that can be studied as part of the languages curriculum for Key Stage Three (11 to 14-year-olds). However, it only covers modern foreign languages and omits Latin.
Politeia, the right-wing think-tank, argues in a pamphlet this could discourage schools from offering the subject – thus creating a situation where it “is in danger of being the Cinderella of foreign languages”.
“This position should be changed,” said Sheila Lawlor, director of Politeia. “Because of the classroom time schools need to meet legal obligations, subjects which are not included in the national curriculum tend to be neglected by schools and it becomes difficult for pupils to study them in addition to the subjects legally required.
“If Latin is not an option within the national curriculum, fewer students are likely to study it. It is wrong to penalise pupils who prefer to keep up Latin as their main language in secondary school (or who would like to start it there). The evidence is that such study benefits their whole education and equips them to learn a whole range of other languages.”
…A Department for Education official told the seminar held to launch the pamphlet that Latin had been excluded from the Key Stage Three list of permissible languages under the curriculum because its inclusion could have meant that some pupils did not study a single modern foreign language between the ages of 11 and 14 and that was not what ministers had intended.
A spokeswoman for the DfE said: “There is nothing to stop schools from teaching Latin, In fact, students can study any ancient or modern language , including Latin, as part of the EBacc.
“We are addressing the chronic lack of attention paid to foreign languages in schools. For the first time ever, we have made it compulsory for primary schools to teach a language – which may be Latin – so that children can learn this crucial skill from a young age.”
What do you think about this? Should Latin be included in the curriculum subjects or do you agree with the DfE that a consequence might be children studying no modern foreign languages between 11 and 14? Let us know in the comments or on twitter (cue the Latin tweets!)…