Is this the way forward? Simply not allowing pupils into a particular sixth form if they have not studied a language at GCSE? Well according to two schools in Essex it is the very answer! Both schools have claimed that from 2012 no pupils will be accepted into their sixth form unless they have at least one GCSE in a language – furthermore they have to have gained at least a C grade!
Harsh or fair you may ask? Can you really turn pupils away if they do not fit this requirement? Apparently so and the reason the two schools are giving is the deepening language crisis in the UK. The news has been filled with stories in recent months about a reduction in the number of pupils taking up GCSE’s in languages – after all it is now no longer compulsory and we have blogged on the subject very recently.
So is this the right way to go? Should more schools take this hard-line approach? We’re not saying we think they should, but what is clear is the need for the issue to be addressed. We need more people learning different languages at a younger age so perhaps this approach may prove positive and encourage more kids to take languages. More and more companies are demanding it from candidates and it proves beneficial to those who chose to do so.
We’ll have to wait and see what happens and if other schools and colleges follow this trend. Let’s hope though that in the future the government does something drastic to address the problem we are seeing with language take up at GCSE and A-Level.