§ Mr. Butler
To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science whether he proposes to take steps to reverse the downward trend in the GCE French A-level percentage of total passes between 1965 and 1985.
§ Mrs. Rumbold
The Government are concerned to increase the number of pupils continuing to study a foreign language until age 16 and beyond. Our proposals for a national curriculum include a modern foreign language as a foundation subject at secondary level to be studied by all pupils between the ages of 11 and 16. We expect the majority to want to offer it for public examination at age 16 and hope that the greater numbers studying a language up to that age will result in an increase in those continuing their studies to A or AS-level.