The 2015 A-Level entry figures show low numbers of students taking language exams, with a 1% drop in the number of French exams and a 4.25% drop in German. Spanish is the exception with a 14% rise in entries.
Commenting on the figures, Vicky Gough, Schools Adviser at the British Council, said:
"Despite languages being crucial for life and work in an increasingly connected world, A-Level entry figures remain disappointingly low for yet another year.
“While it is good news to see Spanish – one of the languages the UK needs the most* – buck the trend with a rise in entries at both A and AS level, this isn’t enough to compensate for the long-term decline in other key languages. In particular, entries for French and German, which are still valued very highly by employers, have more than halved since 1999 with language entries as a whole falling by almost a third in the past two decades. The reality is that as this decline continues, the UK risks falling behind on the international stage - we need far more of our young people to develop their language skills in order to effectively connect, work and trade with their counterparts around the globe as well as to become the language teachers of the future.“
*‘British Council, ‘Languages for the Future’ report