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Teachers: Mandarin and Urdu

Volume 464: debated on Tuesday 9 October 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families (1) what level of qualification teachers will need to teach (a) Mandarin and (b) Urdu; (153821)

(2) how much is planned to be spent on training of (a) Mandarin and (b) Urdu teachers in 2007-08;

(3) what steps are being taken to recruit speakers of Mandarin and Urdu into the teaching profession;

(4) how many new teachers of (a) Mandarin and (b) Urdu are expected to be recruited over the next five years;

(5) what new languages other than Mandarin and Urdu will be available in schools under the changes to the national curriculum.

The level of qualification required to teach Mandarin and Urdu will be the same as for any other modem language and teachers will normally have a post A level qualification which will be built upon as part of their training. It is not possible to state how many new teachers of a particular language there will be over the next few years or therefore what the cost of training them will be. While the Government sets the Training and Development Agency for Schools (TDA) a target for the number of training places for modem languages as a whole, it does not specify how this should be split between individual languages. This depends on the demand from schools and local authorities for teachers of a particular language, which will then be reflected in the number of training places offered by providers.

Following the review of the key stage 3 curriculum (11 to 14-year-olds), schools will be able to offer any major European or world language from September 2008. The new key stage 3 programme of study does not stipulate what languages should be taught, although suggests schools might offer major European or world languages such as Arabic, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Mandarin, Russian, Spanish and Urdu. It is a school level decision which languages they teach.