HC Deb 30 November 1926 vol 200 cc1004-5

asked the President of the Board of Education whether opportunities are given to children in the State-aided schools for acquiring a knowledge of foreign languages; and which languages are they enabled to learn?

The PRESIDENT of the BOARD of EDUCATION (Lord Eustace Percy)

As the answer is long, I will, with the hon. Member's permission, circulate it in the OFFICIAL REPORT.

Following is the answer:

Yes, Sir, French is taught in a number of central schools, and, in a few such schools, German and Spanish are taught. In secondary schools French has a regular place in the curriculum, and some secondary schools provide for the study of German, and, to a lesser extent, of Spanish, Italian and Russian. The importance of a knowledge of the spoken, as well as of the written, language is not overlooked, and a pass in at least one foreign language is required for a pass in the first schools examination. Further, in evening classes, in commercial schools and in the commercial and language departments of polytechnics and technical schools, young persons who have left School have opportunities for studying languages, those principally taught in these schools being French, German, Spanish and Italian. For fuller details I would refer my hon. Friend to Table 98 of the Board's Statistics of Public Education, 1920–21, and to Table 103 of the corresponding Volume for 1924–25.