Mr. Robert G. Hughes
To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science which modern foreign languages will be specified for inclusion in the national curriculum; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Kenneth Baker
My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Wales and I have today jointly published an order, which comes into effect on 1 August 1989, under section 3(2)(b) of the Education Reform Act 1988. This specifies two groups of modern foreign languages which312W will qualify for the purposes of the national curriculum. The terms of the order reflect consultations on the draft order which we initiated on 3 March. We are grateful for all the comments received during the consultation period.
Initially this order will apply to the requirement that pupils in key stage 3—normally those aged II to 14—should study a modern foreign language for a reasonable time from autumn 1989 for pupils in England, and from autumn 1990 for those in Wales.
The first group of languages consists of the eight working languages of the European Community (Danish, Dutch, French, German, Modern Greek, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish) —the schedule 1 languages. The second group contains 11 non-EC languages (Arabic, Bengali, Gujerati, Hindi, Japanese, Mandarin and Cantonese Chinese, Modern Hebrew, Panjabi, Russian, Turkish, Urdu)— the schedule 2 languages.
The order does not require all pupils to study a working language of the European Community. It requires schools to offer at least one such language as the first modern foreign language pupils study; but allows schools also to offer any of the other languages listed in schedule 2 so that pupils can choose to study one of these languages rather than the EC language offered. But the order does not give pupils a right to demand teaching of a non-EC language or an EC language other than that offered.
Circulars of guidance for England and Wales are also being published today. Copies of the order and circulars will be sent to all LEAs and schools and have been placed in the Library.