HC Deb 16 June 1986 vol 99 c379W
Mrs. Currie

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will now publish his planned policy statement on foreign language teaching in schools.

Mr. Kenneth Baker

A new start is needed in foreign language teaching in schools. If we are to compete effectively in world markets and to communicate on equal terms with our European partners, we need to increase substantially the numbers of young people leaving school with a good grounding in at least one foreign language. To this end, my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Wales and I have today published a draft statement of policy on foreign languages in the school curriculum. It sets out a programme of vigorous action which is in our view essential to raise standards. We hope that these policy measures will be matched by a growing appreciation on the part of employers and parents of the value of foreign language skills.

The draft policy statement is being sent for comment to a wide range of organisations in education and in industry and commerce. We intend to issue it substantively before the end of the year. Copies of the draft statement have been placed in the Library.