IoD response to Dearing Report

Dated: 12 March 2007

Responding to the final report of Lord Dearing’s review of languages, the Institute of Directors (IoD) supported its focus on fostering an enthusiasm for language learning early in pupils’ schooling, but warned about the possible impact of compulsion.

Miles Templeman, Director General of the IoD, said:

“Languages have an important place in our education system and Lord Dearing’s reports rightly identify primary schools as the central focal point. In addition, more flexible, innovative and engaging courses could also improve language take-up at higher levels. For example, the IoD particularly welcomes the report’s support for our suggestion of a GCSE in several languages in a business context.

“That said, we are concerned at the possible impact of the report’s central recommendation: that languages be made compulsory for 7-14 year olds. The obvious risk is a diversion of focus away from the key goal of driving up literacy and numeracy standards.

“In implementing this recommendation, the Government should consider relaxing any requirement for mandatory language learning for those primary pupils struggling with the ‘3Rs’. Only 60% of 11 year olds achieved the expected standard for their age in last year’s reading, writing and maths tests. It is vital that improvements in these basic skills are not imperilled.”

ENDS

Contact Points

Edwin Morgan
Media Relations Manager
Institute of Directors, 116 Pall Mall, London SW1Y 5ED
Tel: +44 (0)20 7451 3392
Mob: +44 (0)7814 386 243
Email: edwin.morgan@iod.com
Website: www.iod.com/policy

Notes to editors

  • The Institute of Directors (IoD) was founded in 1903 and obtained a Royal Charter in 1906. The IoD is a non-party political organisation with approximately 38,000 members in the United Kingdom and overseas. Membership includes directors from right across the business spectrum – from media to manufacturing, e-business to the public and voluntary sectors. Members include CEOs of large corporations as well as entrepreneurial directors of start-up companies.
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