https://dfemedia.blog.gov.uk/2019/07/03/language-trends/

Language Trends

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Today’s Education in the Media blog looks at the findings of the British Council’s Language Trends Survey 2019 and the National Centre for Computing Education (NCCE) announcement of which schools and colleges have been chosen to improve computer science education in England.

British Council Survey

Today, Wednesday 3 July, the British Council published its Language Trends Survey 2019 which suggests that ‘tough exams’ are discouraging pupils in England from learning languages. The British Council surveyed more than 1600 teachers about languages in schools.

The survey shows an overall reduction of GCSE and A Level entrants for languages. It claims that since 2014, there has been a 19 percent reduction in GCSE entrants for languages, and also says that A Level entrants are down from 2017 to 2018, with German down 16 percent, French down seven percent and Spanish three percent.

This story was covered by the I, The Guardian, Telegraph, The Times, BBC online and was discussed on the BBC’s Today Programme.

A Department for Education spokesperson said:

We want more people to study foreign languages and benefit from the opportunities they provide. Since the introduction of the Ebacc in 2010, the proportion of pupils studying a language has risen from 40 per cent to 46 per cent.

We are providing a range of support to schools to encourage more children to study languages alongside initiatives such as the £10 million Mandarin Excellence Programme which will put 5,000 young people on track to be fluent in Mandarin by 2020.

Prior to our reforms, employers and universities said GCSEs were not providing young people the right grounding in the skills they needed for the next phase of education and the world of work. Our gold-standard GCSEs are on a par with the best in the world and respond to those concerns.

Computer Hubs

The National Centre for Computing Education (NCCE) has today, Wednesday 3 July, announced the 23 schools and colleges chosen to become computing hubs to improve computer science education in England

The hubs will support the NCCE’s vision of a world-leading computing education in England. As the first successful wave of the national network, the NCCE will provide a range of support for primary and secondary computing teachers in schools in their area, including teaching, resources and CPD activities.

This story was reported in Schools Week.

School Standards Minister Nick Gibb, said:

The National Centre for Computing Education, led by some of the UK's leading tech experts and backed by £84m of government investment, will give teachers the subject knowledge and support they need to teach our new, reformed computing curriculum. Appointing the first group of lead schools, to support local counterparts and deliver specialist training and development, marks an important step in making the aims of the NCCE a reality.

As our digital industry makes an increasingly significant contribution to our economy, it is important that our teachers have the expertise to teach computer science with confidence and ensure young people leave school prepared for life in the 21st century.

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