British Council response to Summer 2015 exam entries: GCSEs, level 1 / 2 certificates, AS and A levels in England
Mark Herbert, Head of Schools Programmes at the British Council, said:
“Once again, it’s disappointing news for language fans as school exam entries for modern languages have fallen for yet another year at both GCSE and A Level.
“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 A and AS level, this isn’t enough to compensate for the long-term declines in French and German, which are still valued very highly by employers. Even the general rise in Spanish GCSE entries that we have witnessed over the past few years now appears to have petered out - there is a five per cent decrease in entries this year.
“Languages are crucial for life and work in an increasingly globalised world. If the UK is to remain competitive on the international stage, we need far more of our young people – not fewer - to develop their language skills in order to effectively connect, work and trade with their counterparts around the globe.“
*‘British Council, ‘Languages for the Future’ report