News story

Boost to Mandarin teaching in schools

Over 5,000 more pupils will be learning Mandarin in school by 2020 thanks to a £10 million funding boost announced by the Chancellor.

Hands up in classroom
Image: iStock

While undertaking a five-day tour in China, the Chancellor announced that a £10 million investment would be made to allow even more children to learn Mandarin at school, with the ambition of having an additional 5,000 students learning Mandarin by 2020.

Last year only about 2% of state-funded primary schools and 5% of state-funded secondary schools offered pupils the opportunity to learn Chinese as a curriculum subject. This new funding will increase the quality and quantity of Mandarin teaching in schools, giving even more young people the chance to study this important language.

Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne said:

This investment means we can give more young people the opportunity to learn a language that will help them succeed in our increasingly global economy. I’m here in China to help forge closer economic and cultural relationships between our nations and this announcement is another great example of things we are doing to help grow both of our economies.

Education Secretary Nicky Morgan said:

The relationship between UK and China is vital to our growing economy which is why we want even more young people, from all backgrounds, to have the opportunity to learn Mandarin.

Teaching pupils these important language skills will ensure they leave school not just with an excellent education but fully prepared to compete in the global race.

The £10 million of funding will include recruiting and training more teachers in state schools in England. It is the government’s ambition that this investment will allow an additional 5,000 students to leave school having studied Mandarin.

Published 22 September 2015