Mandarin teaching in schools to benefit from new UK-China partnership

Published on Wednesday, 10 November 2010 10:17
Posted by Roger Tolman

Education Secretary Michael Gove today announced a pioneering new partnership with China to train 1000 more Mandarin teachers for secondary schools in England.


During a visit to China to build stronger education partnerships with the Chinese,
Mr Gove launched the joint programme between the Specialist Schools and Academies Trust and Hanban (the Confucius Institute Headquarters). It is to run over the next five years.

Mandarin is an increasingly popular subject choice for young people at GCSE but in England there are currently only around 100 qualified Mandarin teachers, and only 16 per cent of secondary schools offered Chinese language teaching in 2009.

This new partnership will increase the quality and quantity of Mandarin teaching in schools and allow more young people than ever before the chance to study this important language. Increasing the number of Mandarin speakers will help equip Britain’s future workforce with the skills we need to compete in a globalised economy.

Speaking from Beijing, Michael Gove said:

I am delighted to be building a stronger education partnership with the Chinese. There is a lot our countries can learn from each other and we want to work together to deliver world-class standards in schools through the greater sharing of knowledge and experience.

This is not just about fostering a better understanding of China among our young people. Offering every young person the chance to learn Mandarin will help to encourage mobility between the two countries, equip the next generation with the skills they need to succeed, and ensure the long-term success of our economy and society.

Elizabeth Reid, Chief Executive at the Specialist Schools and Academies Trust, said:

This new five-year programme will be co-financed by the two organisations and
will begin in July 2011. The programme is aimed at dealing with the immediate shortage of Mandarin teachers and enabling schools to meet the rapidly rising demand for Mandarin teaching. In five years, the supply of qualified Mandarin teachers should have increased sufficiently to match demand, but the situation will be kept under review.

 Source: ©DfE

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0 #1 Louisa 2010-11-15 11:31
Good news! I want to study Chinese at university but have been at a disadvantage to others who have had the opportunity to study Mandarin at GCSE level. Hopefully, future generations will be better equipped to meet the demand for more interpreters of Mandarin.

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