In the latest twist in the saga of language study for English schoolchildren, the shadow education secretary has announced his support for the English Baccalaureate.

The Ebacc is awarded to pupils who achieve C or better in English, maths, history or geography, sciences and a language at GCSE level. The number of pupils taking a language at GCSE level had dropped after the previous government made it non-compulsory.

[Stephen] Twigg – who said he regretted having given up Spanish when he was 14 – said Labour should have put foreign languages on the primary school timetable before scrapping the requirement for older children.

“I think the mistake we made was to do it the wrong way around. I would definitely make languages optional at 14, but what we should have done is had the primary languages approach first and then made the changes at 14. You can’t go back to making it compulsory.” (The Guardian)

Let’s hope this latest change in policy makes pupils aware of the benefits of studying a second language!