Entries in modern foreign language (MFL) GCSEs have fallen since 2014.

The rate of boys’ entry and attainment in language subjects are consistently below those of girls. Although there are overall trends in language learning, however, there are schools, trusts and local authorities in which boys’ language entry and attainment at GCSE are relatively high given their context. 

Part One of this report takes a statistical approach to identifying those schools. Our analysis has identified schools with pupil intakes that are statistically associated with low language attainment at GCSE. In practice these schools are achieving substantially higher entry and attainment for boys than might be expected given national trends. 

Part Two shows the results from a survey of the practices of those schools, identifying factors which are allowing them to ‘beat the odds’ and puts forward case studies and recommendations based on the findings.


Bobbie Mills and Teresa Tinsley