Language Teaching Disappearing in City Secondary Schools

The Birmingham Post (England), July 4, 2005 | Go to article overview

Language Teaching Disappearing in City Secondary Schools


Byline: By Shahid Naqvi

Fresh concerns have been raised over the teaching of foreign languages in Birmingham as it emerged that two secondaries have no pupils studying the subject at GCSE level.

The revelation comes in the wake of a report which found half of the city's secondaries had 'significantly' cut provision to pupils in the last year and evidence of an exodus of language teachers from schools that had no intention of replacing them.

The study by the local education authority also claimed a reduced uptake could be down to schools steering pupils to 'easier' subjects to boost their league table positions.

The Government has been accused of overseeing a decline in languages since removing the requirement last September for schools to teach them at GCSE level.

The Birmingham report - The Future of Language Teaching in Schools - says: 'The changes to statutory arrangements at Key Stage Four have led to a decline in the uptake of languages.

'This may undermine schools' commitment to offer both European and community languages.' It claimed a survey had identified two schools - unnamed - no longer teaching foreign language at GCSE level.

Inquiries by The Post have revealed that one of them is St Pauls Community Foundation School in Balsall Heath.

Headteacher John Colwell said: 'We don't have a member of staff to teach it here. …

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