Ofsted Head: Teach European Languages Before "More Challenging" Mandarin

3 July 2018, 18:05 | Updated: 3 July 2018, 18:07

The Ofsted Chief Inspector says she is worried over the diminishing level of language learning in schools.

The head of Ofsted tells Iain Dale that it is "very worrying" that language learning has "dropped off a cliff".

Amanda Spielman said: "One of the things I hoped that the introduction of the e-back policy would do is to encourage language learning back to its former levels.

"I think there's a perception that language is harder than other subjects, which encourages schools to shy away from them.

"So there's a question have we made them too hard to teach, I think there is some good work going on at the moment which I hope will throw out some suggestions about how we can take the language agenda forward constructively in schools."

Amanda Spielman, Ofsted Chief Inspector, live in the LBC studio.
Amanda Spielman, Ofsted Chief Inspector, live in the LBC studio. Picture: LBC

The chief inspector also said that languages closer to home are more easily learned, and suggested pupils should be studying a European language over Mandarin .

She said: "If you want to get people interested and enjoying, it's probably best to start with the European language and move onto the more challenging languages over time."