ASCL comment on Ofqual decision over GCSE French and German

05/11/2019
Geoff Barton, General Secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, comments on Ofqual’s decision to make an adjustment to grading standards in GCSE French and German
 
Commenting on Ofqual’s decision to make an adjustment to grading standards in GCSE French and German, Geoff Barton, General Secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, said:
 
“We have repeatedly argued that modern foreign languages are graded too severely and we are delighted that Ofqual has now decided to take action in respect of GCSE French and German. The take-up of these subjects has fallen catastrophically over the course of several years and the perception that they are particularly difficult has been one of the drivers of this problem.
 
“It is by no means the whole solution. There is a severe shortage of modern foreign language teachers and this may become more challenging in the context of Brexit because schools rely heavily on being able to recruit staff from EU countries. And we need a national strategy to enthuse young people about learning languages.
 
“We will also continue to press Ofqual to tackle severe grading in A-level languages where entries in French and German have also plummeted. It will obviously help if we can improve the numbers taking languages at GCSE but the situation is so grave that we believe there is a compelling case for action at A-level as well.”