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£3 million for language learning

Published: 20 Feb 2018 10:00
Part of:
Economy, Education

School funding to strengthen skills.

Schools will be allocated £3 million this year to support pupils learning additional languages, Employability Minister Jamie Hepburn has announced.

A lack of language skills has been estimated to cost Scottish businesses hundreds of millions of pounds a year in lost exports.

The Scottish Government funding will enable every primary school pupil to start learning an additional language in Primary 1 and a second additional language by Primary 5, and for language learning to continue to the end of S3. This includes Mandarin, Gaelic and British Sign Language as well as European languages.

There has been a sustained increase in language Highers and skills-based qualifications in recent years and the Scottish Government’s continued investment will build on this success, ensuring the workforce has the right skills to make the most of international economic opportunities.

Visiting St Ambrose High School in Coatbridge, Mr Hepburn said:

“Learning languages in today’s global, multi-cultural world is becoming more crucial than ever. Research shows that employers strongly favour candidates with language skills and we want to ensure young Scots are equipped with the skills they need in the global marketplace. That is why introducing school children to languages at a young age and helping them to foster a long-lasting love of languages is so crucially important.

“Our 1+2 language policy supports this ambition and I’m pleased to announce we are allocating a further £3 million to schools in the 2018-19 draft budget, bringing our total investment to £27.2 million since 2013.”

Ellen Douglas, Head Teacher of St Ambrose High School, said:

“St Ambrose High is committed to ensuring that Modern Languages is given its rightful place in the school curriculum and I'm delighted to learn  that  the national commitment to promoting Modern Languages will continue with the additional funding being announced  by the Minister today.  

“Young people live in an increasingly global village and marvellous economic, cultural and social opportunities are created where the barrier of language is removed. Future prosperity requires to be underpinned by good communication in order that communities can remain competitive and enjoy the mutual benefits of working towards a common purpose.”

Background

 

Allocation (£3 million) in £000s

Aberdeen City

                    101

Aberdeenshire

                    157

Angus

                       66

Argyll & Bute

                       44

Clackmannanshire

                       29

Dumfries & Galloway

                       82

Dundee City

                       81

East Ayrshire

                       70

East Dunbartonshire

                       70

East Lothian

                       63

East Renfrewshire

                       71

Edinburgh City

                    220

Na h-Eileanan Siar

                       14

Falkirk

                       96

Fife

                    218

Glasgow City

                    301

Highland

                    132

Inverclyde

                       42

Midlothian

                       56

Moray

                       52

North Ayrshire

                       79

North Lanarkshire

                    212

Orkney Islands

                       12

Perth & Kinross

                       78

Renfrewshire

                    101

Scottish Borders

                       63

Shetland Islands

                       14

South Ayrshire

                       60

South Lanarkshire

                    190

Stirling

                       53

West Dunbartonshire

                       55

West Lothian

                    118

All local authorities

3,000

1 based on September 2017 pupil census

Since 2007 Higher language passes have increased by over 11% and between 2015 and 16 Modern Language for Life and Work attainment has increased by 36%.

A lack of language skills was estimated to have cost the Scottish economy £0.5 billion in 2011.