ASCL comments on Ofsted research review on languages education

07/06/2021
Geoff Barton, General Secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders comments on Ofsted’s research review on languages education.
 
Commenting on Ofsted’s research review on languages education, Geoff Barton, General Secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, said:
 
The Ofsted report highlights an alarming decline in languages uptake at both GCSE and A-level which the government needs to address by initiating a much wider national strategy to revive language learning in our schools and colleges. 
 
“There are many hurdles needing to be overcome. There is a perception among young people that languages are difficult subjects which are graded harshly and that English is a lingua franca and that they therefore don’t need to learn languages.
 
“All of this is exacerbated by a shortage of language teachers in our schools and colleges that makes the government’s target of 90% uptake at GCSE unachievable.
 
“We do not believe the government’s current proposal to base French, German and Spanish GCSEs on a list of vocabulary is the right way to go and there instead needs to be a much more fundamental strategy review that has encouraging a love of languages at its heart
.”