Most primary school children and 40% in secondaries missed out during first lockdown, says British Council. Millions of children did not receive any language tuition during lockdowns in England, the British Council has said.
The council’s annual survey of English primary and secondary schools found that more than half of primary school pupils and 40% of those at secondaries did not do any language learning during the first national lockdown. And in January and February’s lockdown, 20% of all pupils had no language education.
This will inevitably affect take-up at GCSE and A-level. The report shows that the government will fail to meet its target of three-quarters of pupils taking a modern language GCSE by 2022, if current trends continue.
The government wants 75% of pupils to take a modern language GCSE by 2022 and 90% by 2025, as part of its English baccalaureate. The introduction in 2010 of the Ebacc, a group of more traditional subjects at GCSE which includes a compulsory language, was meant to help stem the decline in language learning. But according to the report, published on Thursday, only 53% of year 10 pupils were studying for a language GCSE in 2020.