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Volume 460: debated on Thursday 24 May 2007

12. To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what steps he is taking to encourage the teaching of Mandarin at GCSE level. (138965)

The Qualifications and Curriculum Authority have recently consulted on which languages schools should teach to 11 to 14-year-olds. We expect them to advise that schools should be free to teach any major languages they choose from 2008. The Specialist Schools and Academies Trust provide support to over 80 schools already teaching Mandarin. We expect this number to rise when the new secondary curriculum is introduced.