HC Deb 22 November 2000 vol 357 c242W
Jane Griffiths

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what plans he has to encourage the teaching of Mandarin in schools. [138804]

Jacqui Smith

There has been a steady expansion in learning of Mandarin Chinese in the Specialist Language Colleges sector, where around a third (31 institutions) offer accredited courses to 'A' Level. However, many more offer 'enrichment'—courses that are non-accredited but which give pupils enhanced learning opportunities. These can take the form of masterclasses, links with other colleges involving the sharing of teaching materials, exchanges and study visits.

The Government are also supporting a £50,000 pilot project for the teaching of Mandarin at the Djangoly CTC. We recognise the importance of young people having access to languages like Mandarin in developing trade and cultural links with China.