Vital modern languages could be lost, warns Labour

The BBC is reporting warnings from Labour that some modern languages vital to the UK’s economic future could be lost from schools in England…

…The party has highlighted recent announcements by exam boards OCR and AQA listing the subjects they would still offer at GCSE and A-level and those they would discontinue.

OCR said it would be dropping GCSEs and A-levels in Turkish, Portuguese, Persian, Gujurati and Dutch.

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

Mr Hunt said “Precisely at the time we need to be harnessing our entrepreneurial capital and soft power in the new emerging economies, the government’s actions will lead to fewer young people being able to take A-Levels in Portuguese, Turkish, Gujarati and Punjabi.”

He called on Education Secretary Nicky Morgan to take “urgent action” before Parliament is dissolved for the election campaign “so that these subjects are not lost from our education system”…

A Department for Education spokeswoman said there were encouraging signs that the numbers of students taking GCSEs was rising following the introduction of the Ebacc league table measure, which includes a modern foreign language.

“It is down to exam boards to decide which languages they want to offer as reformed A-levels. But we will be raising concerns about non-traditional languages with the boards and asking them to reconsider their decision,” said the spokeswoman…”

More at: Vital modern languages could be lost, warns Labour


Do you think in a situation like this the government should be able to require exam boards to offer certain subjects even if the boards believe there is insufficient demand for them?


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!

Girls 'less keen on sport after 7'
New history GCSE topics - including wars in Iraq and Afghanistan - revealed
Categories: Secondary.


  1. andylutwyche

    SchoolsImprove It would be useful to check who actually takes these qualifications: people who are new to the language or native speakers

  2. Nor_edu

    SchoolsImprove Govs role not to *instruct* boards, but to *encourage* schools so that the demand is still there surely?

Let us know what you think...