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One in four primary schools in England has no teachers with a language qualification higher than a GCSE.
This is what the annual Languages Trends Survey, which polled almost 600 primary schools, suggests. The study, published by the CfBT Education Trust and the British Council, found out that in 23 percent of primary schools surveyed, the highest language qualification held by staff was only a GCSE. Only 30 percent of those polled had a teacher with a language degree, down from 40 percent last year.
All schools in England will be expected to give language lessons to seven to 11-year-old students from September, but the survey showed teachers weren’t confident about the changes. “Most staff feel ill-equipped to teach foreign languages. As a teacher, you want to feel confident that you know your subject matter well,” a teacher said.
The authors of the study also suggest primary schools in England are falling further behind their European counterparts. It noted that some European countries are now trying to teach pupils a second language, but English schools are still struggling to ensure all students know the basics of one.