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£3 Million for Language Learning

20 February 2018 

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."

Source - Scottish Governement Website

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