The programme of co-operation in the scientific, educational and cultural fields between the United Kingdom and the USSR for 1989–1991 provides for the number of Russian language assistants currently in the United Kingdom to be increased to a maximum of six a year from academic year 1989–90.
§ 29. Mr. Jim Marshall
To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what plans he has to enable schools to take advantage of opportunities provided by the European Community of other member nations in assisting the teaching in their schools of languages that are currently unavailable to schools in England and Wales.
§ 35. Mr. Michael
To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what proposals he has to enable schools to take advantage of opportunities provided by the European Community for other member nations in assisting the teaching in their schools of languages that are presently unavailable to schools in England and Wales.
My right hon. Friend is not aware that there are opportunities relating to the teaching of languages in schools provided by the European Community that are available to schools in the other members states but not in England and Wales. He informed the House on 24 May of the agreement on 22 May over the terms of the Community's Lingua programme. The programme is concerned with the support for the improvement of foreign language competence through initial and continuing vocational education. This includes the training of foreign language teachers in schools in the United Kingdom as in other member states and our schools will benefit in equal measure.
§ 47. Mr. Sean Hughes
To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what steps he is taking to encourage secondary school pupils to study two modern languages.
§ Mrs. Rumbold
The national curriculum will include a modern foreign language as a foundation subject at secondary level to be studied by all pupils between the ages of II and 16. From this autumn, pupils will have to study a modern foreign language for a reasonable time in the first three years of secondary schooling. This requirement will be extended to the last two years of compulsory schooling later. Schools will be free to offer a second foreign language during the 11–16 phase or in the sixth form, in addition to meeting the national curriculum requirements. This reflects the Government's policy on modern foreign languages in the school curriculum which was set out in my right hon. Friend's policy statement "Modern Languages in the School Curriculum" published in January 1988.