Friday, July 30, 2021
Latin to be more widely taught in UK
Latin teaching is to be rolled out in state schools as the Department for Education launches a drive to ensure the subject is not "reserved for the privileged few".
A new £4 million Latin Excellence Programme will see thousands of state school pupils in deprived parts of the country offered lessons in the ancient language.
Latin is taught in just 2.7 per cent of state secondary schools, compared to 49 per cent of private schools, according to the British Council's latest report on language trends.
Gavin Williamson, the Education Secretary, said: "We know Latin has a reputation as an elitist subject which is only reserved for the privileged few. But the subject can bring so many benefits to young people, so I want to put an end to that divide.
"There should be no difference in what pupils learn at state schools and independent schools, which is why we have a relentless focus on raising school standards and ensuring all pupils study a broad, ambitious curriculum."
Officials at the DfE believe Latin can help pupils learn modern foreign languages such as French, which has been in steep decline at state schools over the past decade. They also think it will benefit students more generally by broadening their horizons and could lead to improvements in subjects such as English and maths.
From next September, 40 state schools in England will be selected to take part in a four-year pilot of the programme, aimed at boosting uptake of Latin at GCSE. Staff at each school will be trained and given classroom resources to assist them in teaching Latin to children aged 11 to 16.
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