GCSE & A Level qualifications in lesser taught languages to continue

Following the reform of GCSE and A level qualifications, the exam boards announced in March 2015 that they would not be continuing to offer GCSE and A level qualifications in a number of smaller, ‘lesser-taught’ languages. The Secretary of State for Education pledged to intervene, and to work with the exam boards to find a solution.

Since then the government has worked with Ofqual and the exam boards to secure agreement that these important subjects will not be dropped and that qualifications will continue to be provided. The following languages (in addition to French, Chinese, German, Italian, Russian and Spanish) will now continue to be offered at GCSE and A level: Arabic, Modern Greek, Gujarati, Bengali, Japanese, Modern & Biblical Hebrew, Panjabi, Polish, Portuguese, Turkish and Urdu.

Timeline:

UCML have produced the following handy timeline for reform of GCSE and A level qualifications – for both the larger and the smaller, ‘lesser-taught’ languages:

  • 2016 (2018) French, German, and Spanish will be available as reformed GCSEs and A levels for first teaching in September 2016, first awards 2018.
  • 2017 (2019) Chinese, Italian and Russian at GCSE and A level will be reformed for first teaching in September 2017, first awards 2019.
  • 2017 (2019) Bengali, Modern Hebrew, Panjabi, Polish (all offered by AQA), Arabic, Greek, Japanese and Urdu (all offered by Pearson) will be available at GCSE for first teaching in September 2017, first awards 2019.
  • 2018 (2020) Bengali, Modern Hebrew, Panjabi, Polish (all offered by AQA), Arabic, Greek, Japanese and Urdu (all offered by Pearson) will be available at A level for first teaching in September 2018, first awards 2020.
  • 2018 (2020) Gujarati, Portuguese, Turkish, at GCSE & A level, and the Biblical Hebrew GCSE (Pearson); Biblical Hebrew A level (AQA) will be available for first teaching in September 2018, first awards 2020. NB: OCR will continue to offer existing qualifications for award up to 2019.

You can find more information on the UCML website.

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