Community languages to ensure diverse curriculum continues


The government has confirmed that GCSEs and A levels in a range of community languages, such as Punjabi, Portuguese and Japanese are to continue to ensure young people can carry on studying a diverse range of foreign languages.

The move follows a government commitment in 2015 to protect a number of language GCSEs and A levels after the exam boards announced that from 2017 they would be withdrawing several courses.

Education Secretary Nicky Morgan said: “One of Britain’s strengths is its rich, multicultural nature and ensuring young people have the opportunity to study a wide range of languages is integral to that.

“Learning a foreign language opens up a whole world of opportunity and ensures our young people will be able to compete on a global scale."

There has been a campaign against exam board plans to withdraw these languages as exam subjects in England.

In a letter to the heads of exam boards, Education Secretary Nicky Morgan said she had received "numerous representations" from ethnic minority communities about fears that these languages would be dropped from A-levels and GCSEs.

Prof Nigel Vincent, who leads on languages for the British Academy, said: "Our rich multicultural society is itself a soft power asset for the UK. There is a wealth of untapped linguistic resource amongst the school age population in the UK.

"This needs to be mobilised, supported and given recognition through accreditation."