§ Mr. Willis
To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what estimate she has made as to the number of schools that plan to make the teaching of a foreign language optional at Key Stage 4. 
§ Stephen Twigg
Modern Foreign Languages remain a compulsory National Curriculum subject at key stage 4 and we expect schools to observe this.
The Green Paper 14–19: extending opportunities, raising standards proposes that the existing arrangements under which all young people must study a modern foreign language at key stage 4, unless their schools have used the disapplication procedures, is too constraining. The Green Paper therefore proposes that the statutory obligation for young people at Key Stage 4 to study a language, be replaced by a new statutory entitlement that would require schools to make the subject available to any young person wishing to study it.
Consultation only closed on 31 May 2002 and we are reflecting carefully on the views expressed during consultation before reaching our decision. We have indicated in the Green Paper that any curriculum changes would be subject to further consultation before their introduction.
We have made no estimates at this stage of the effect of our proposals on the study of modern foreign languages at key stage 4.