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Education in the media: 16 June 2017

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: Curriculum

Today’s news review looks at coverage of a survey from the British Council on language learning in schools in England.

British Council survey

Today, 16 June, the British Council released a survey on the uptake on languages in both primary and secondary schools.

It highlights the benefits of studying a language not only in terms of practical communication skills, but also in building literacy and cultural knowledge.

Since September 2014, languages have been a compulsory part of the curriculum in primary schools. The introduction of the EBacc (which requires at least one modern foreign language at GCSE level) is also having a positive having on pupil uptake of these subjects. Last year’s results saw significantly more pupils taking languages at GCSE than in 2010, a trend we expect to continue.

Geographically, it found that the highest levels of language learning in England are in London and the South East.

The survey was covered by BBC Online and TES, among others.

A Department for Education spokesperson said:

It is important in an outward looking global Britain, that young people have opportunities to study a language at GCSE as part of the overall core academic education that keeps their options open for the future.


The introduction of languages as a compulsory part of the primary curriculum and, more importantly, the EBacc at GCSE level, has begun to reverse the decline in modern foreign languages which led to 200,000 fewer GCSE students studying a modern language in 2010 than in 2002 – and this trend is reflected in the report.

To read the British Council report in full please see here.

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