EBacc effect wearing off on GCSE languages

August 20th, 2015 by

Figures for GCSE entries published today show a 6% fall in the number of pupGCSE figsils taking languages GCSEs, providing further evidence that the positive effect of the EBacc performance measure is tailing off. Numbers taking French, German and Spanish rose in 2013 in response to the EBacc measure announced in 2011, but have since started to fall. Numbers taking German have dropped by 10% this year and even Spanish, a language which has been performing relatively well, has seen a 2% decline in entries this year. Numbers for French fell by 6% compared to 2014.

Entries for other languages show a mixed picture. The most popular of these – Italian, Urdu, Polish, Chinese, Arabic and Russian (see graphic 1/2), have all grown since 2011, but Russian has fallen back this year after four years of steady growth. Chinese, Polish and Arabic have all see large percentage increases since 2011, whilst Italian has declined over the last two years.
GCSE small entry 1In the middle tier in terms of number of entries (graphic 2/2), Portuguese and Turkish have grown over the 5 year period, whereas Bengali, Japanese and Panjabi have all declined, confirmed a longer term trend.


GCSE small entry 2








Figures for the very small entry languages, Gujarati, Persian, Dutch, Modern Greek and Modern Hebrew, are given in the chart below.

  2011 2012 2013 2014 2015
Gujarati 565 586 542 625 563
Persian 394 464 435 535 445
Dutch 431 434 421 406 462
Modern Greek 418 386 510 516 528
Modern Hebrew 445 458 443 500 558



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