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Languages Teaching

Volume 405: debated on Monday 19 May 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what his estimate is of the proportion of schools in (a) deprived areas and (b) affluent areas which intend to permit 14-year-olds to drop language subjects; and if he will make a statement. [113389]

"14 to 19: Opportunity and Excellence" confirmed that we intend to amend the statutory requirement at Key Stage 4 of the National Curriculum so that schools will no longer be required to teach modern foreign languages to all pupils. All schools will, however, be required to ensure as an entitlement that they are available to any pupil wishing to study them.We have made no estimate of the number of schools that might permit 14-year-olds to drop language subjects. In taking decisions about the curriculum at Key Stage 4, schools will be expected to consider carefully the needs and aspirations of their pupils, and the provision of opportunities which will best serve their future education and employability. Some schools may continue to require pupils to study languages as a compulsory part of their curriculum.