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Languages: Qualifications

Question for Department for Education

UIN 150009, tabled on 5 June 2018

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he is taking to encourage more students to study modern foreign languages at GCSE and A Level.

Answered on

13 June 2018

Modern Foreign Languages (MFL) are compulsory in maintained schools at Key Stage 2 and Key Stage 3. In Key Stage 4, MFL is an essential part of the English Baccalaureate combination of subjects. The Government will also build expert hubs for languages to share best teaching practice among schools and improve access to high-quality MFL teaching.

The Government is also ensuring that all schools have the resources needed to increase the take-up of MFL by their students. As a result, several measures have been put in place to encourage more MFL specialists into Initial Teacher Training. These include targeted marketing campaigns, supporting potential MFL Initial Teacher Training applicants to increase the proportion of successful applications and offering financial incentives, such as scholarships and tax-free bursaries worth up to £26,000, for MFL trainee teachers. Seed funding will also be provided to universities so that MFL undergraduates can opt in to complete Qualified Teacher Status alongside their degree. The Teacher Subject Specialism Training initiative aims to attract existing teachers into MFL by improving current teachers’ MFL skills and helping returning teachers and career changers to enter MFL teaching.