In the run up to the next General Election, the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Modern Languages has called on political parties to support a 5-point plan for languages in their 2015 General Election Manifestos. Baroness Coussins, Chair of the APPG on Modern Languages, said: ‘The next government will need to take clear, urgent and coherent action to upgrade the UK’s foreign language skills’.
Speak to the Future has been closely involved in the development of the Manifesto, which closely mirrors its campaign objectives, and is one of the core signatories. Welcoming the Manifesto, Bernardette Holmes, Campaign Director, highlighted the need for consensus across political parties: ‘The breadth and variety of organisations lending their support to this Manifesto show that there is a real appetite to improve the UK’s capacity in languages. We urge all political parties to sign up to the National Recovery Programme, so that we can build and sustain better provision for all.’
In a coordinated move, the umbrella body for languages in universities, UCML, has launched a call for universities to make a GCSE in a language an entry requirement, regardless of the subject of study. In an open letter to university organisations, Jocelyn Wyburd, Chair of UCML, writes: ‘Universities have it in their power to signal that the current educational profile of their students is not a good enough base from which to equip them to be global graduates and to take up outward mobility options, unless language skills are included.’
Read more about it:
Press release by the All-Party Parliamentary Group, including video and full list of supporters: http://blog.britishcouncil.org/appg-modernlanguages/2014/07/13/the-appg-launches-the-manifesto-for-languages-today/
UCML call: http://www.ucml.ac.uk/news/232
BBC News coverage: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-28269496
A Welsh perspective including quotes from Ceri James, former Director of CILT Cymru: http://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/wales-news/public-funding-languages-wales-grim-7415434