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EBacc Subjects and Modern Foreign Languages at GCSE

Volume 721: debated on Monday 24 October 2022

9. If he will take steps to encourage the take up of EBacc subjects and modern foreign languages at GCSE level. (901777)

The Government remain committed to improving uptake of Ebacc subjects, specifically languages. Building on our modern foreign language pedagogy pilot, we will establish a national network of language hubs from autumn 2023. We are also expanding the successful Mandarin excellence programme, as well as exploring an Arabic language programme.

The Ebacc pioneered by my right hon. Friend the Member for Surrey Heath (Michael Gove) has been highly successful in driving uptake of mathematics, sciences and humanities, but there is much further to go in reaching our targets in modern foreign languages. What progress have Ministers made on the development of an Arabic language programme for schools and on ensuring that more pupils have the chance to study world languages?

My hon. Friend raises an important question about the availability of more world languages, which are important for our young people because the United Kingdom operates in a global market. I can confirm that we are exploring an Arabic language programme, which will aim to build on the existing infrastructure of Arabic teaching. Our language hubs programme will also increase support for home, heritage and community languages.