Commenting on the Department for Education announcement that it will press ahead with controversial changes to the way GCSE French, German and Spanish is assessed, Geoff Barton, General Secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, said:
“Whilst we acknowledge there have been some modest adjustments made to the content of the proposals, we are very disappointed the government has decided to press ahead with these reforms to French, German and Spanish GCSEs, which largely overlook the widespread concerns of many language experts.
“We fear that rather than encouraging the take-up of languages, a curriculum which mainly focuses on memorising a long list of words will alienate pupils and prove counter-productive.
“At a time when pupils need to be enthused to learn languages, the government has chosen to make GCSEs both prescriptive and grinding. The idea that this will help it fulfil its target of 90% of pupils taking up these subjects is pure fantasy.”
Please note: the headline and first paragraph of this media release were amended on Thursday 20 January 2022.