Stephen Spriggs, Managing Director, William Clarence Education

There was a time when classrooms were dominated by the ‘3 Rs’, reading, writing and ‘rithmatic. Now, the focus is on Mandarin. And it’s not just the privileged kids in boaters learning this Chinese language – the subject is being taught to state school children from the poorest areas.

This is a smart move as all eyes are on China. Gone are the days when English was the global language and we only needed to learn a smattering of French to help us on our holidays.

Mandarin is the world’s most widely spoken language and as more of us work globally, from the comfort of our laptop, a knowledge of other languages and cultures, especially one as dominant as China’s, makes complete sense.

Five years ago, the then prime minister David Cameron said that by the time the babies of 2013 grew up, China would be the world’s largest economy and we need to be prepared for that.

This is why in 2015, the Government pledged £10 million to help increase the number of children learning Mandarin. But that’s not enough. Now, private businesses are ploughing money into Mandarin lessons.

When Castlebrae Community High School in a deprived area of Edinburgh lost its only modern language teacher last year, they struggled to replace her until they received investment to teach Mandarin. It is now the only language on offer and the teacher is shared around many other state schools in the city. Not only are they picking up the language but last autumn the pupils – most of whom had never left their city, let alone been on a plane – were funded to visit Beijing to meet the people and experience the culture there.

In Castlebrae's case, the money has come from the Swire Group, a British company that oversees business operations in the Far East. They are investing in their future workforce and targeting areas where money is the barrier that will prevent them from being prepared for the rigours of a global 21st century life.

Castlebrae's Headteacher Norma Prentice said: "When I arrived at the school there were lots of vocational courses on offer. There's nothing wrong with vocational courses but…you limit opportunity by pigeonholing them into certain subjects.”

It also helps create more of a level playing field with children at private schools, many of whom already learn Mandarin in class, or whose parents pay for private lessons. “If we can get some of our pupils a Mandarin Higher you're really talking about starting to close the attainment gap,” says Ms Prentice.

The independent sector has long been focused on China. Last autumn, The Telegraph reported that Kensington Wade, a brand new primary prep school in affluent west London was dual English and Chinese offering a bilingual education and promising parents that their children will be fluent in Mandarin by the time they reach senior school. To parents, many of whom work in international business, this is a huge selling point.

China is the fastest growing country in the world and anyone who wants to do business cannot ignore the Far East. Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg, a man who is good at predicting our future needs, speaks Mandarin and four-year-old Prince George is learning it at school. Even the royal family knows the future is Chinese.

Stephen Spriggs, Managing Director, William Clarence Education

State schools in England can apply to join the Mandarin Excellence Programme from 2018 with funding available to support successful delivery. As part of the programme, some pupils will have the chance to go to China from summer 2018. 

About William Clarence Education: The leading education advisory and consultancy service in the UK. With an unrivalled reach into the UK Schooling and University network, William Clarence offers unbiased advice to students and parents from around the world; at every stage of their academic journey.  From Independent School Application and Placement, full UCAS and University application consultancy, Oxbridge Applications  US College Admission and even Homeschooling programmes, William Clarence Education draws on a deep relationship driven network with schools, Universities and senior education figures within the industry.  By putting the student and family at the centre of the process, William Clarence ensures their clients reach their maximum potential and gain access to the very best of UK education.

You may also be interested in these articles:

Register, Login or Login with your Social Media account:


Advertisers

Advertiser Skyscrapers

Video Advert

Newsroom Activity

FE News: The Future of Education News Channel had a status update on Twitter 4 hours 46 minutes ago

RT @_LauraVanessa: How would you encourage arts students to get into tech projects? #artistsontwitter #SkillsWorldLive
View Original Tweet

Solvendis added a new event 6 hours

Preparing for an Ofsted Inspection (Zoom Conferencing)

Many providers remain anxious about the introduction of the Education Inspection Framework and the changes which accompany its introduction....

  • Tuesday, 15 December 2020 10:00 AM
  • Zoom Conferencing

Latest Education News

Further Education News

The FE News Channel gives you the latest education news and updates on emerging education strategies and the #FutureofEducation and the #FutureofWork.

Providing trustworthy and positive Further Education news and views since 2003, we are a digital news channel with a mixture of written word articles, podcasts and videos. Our specialisation is providing you with a mixture of the latest education news, our stance is always positive, sector building and sharing different perspectives and views from thought leaders, to provide you with a think tank of new ideas and solutions to bring the education sector together and come up with new innovative solutions and ideas.

FE News publish exclusive peer to peer thought leadership articles from our feature writers, as well as user generated content across our network of over 3000 Newsrooms, offering multiple sources of the latest education news across the Education and Employability sectors.

FE News also broadcast live events, podcasts with leading experts and thought leaders, webinars, video interviews and Further Education news bulletins so you receive the latest developments in Skills News and across the Apprenticeship, Further Education and Employability sectors.

Every week FE News has over 200 articles and new pieces of content per week. We are a news channel providing the latest Further Education News, giving insight from multiple sources on the latest education policy developments, latest strategies, through to our thought leaders who provide blue sky thinking strategy, best practice and innovation to help look into the future developments for education and the future of work.

In May 2020, FE News had over 120,000 unique visitors according to Google Analytics and over 200 new pieces of news content every week, from thought leadership articles, to the latest education news via written word, podcasts, video to press releases from across the sector.

We thought it would be helpful to explain how we tier our latest education news content and how you can get involved and understand how you can read the latest daily Further Education news and how we structure our FE Week of content:

Main Features

Our main features are exclusive and are thought leadership articles and blue sky thinking with experts writing peer to peer news articles about the future of education and the future of work. The focus is solution led thought leadership, sharing best practice, innovation and emerging strategy. These are often articles about the future of education and the future of work, they often then create future education news articles. We limit our main features to a maximum of 20 per week, as they are often about new concepts and new thought processes. Our main features are also exclusive articles responding to the latest education news, maybe an insight from an expert into a policy announcement or response to an education think tank report or a white paper.

FE Voices

FE Voices was originally set up as a section on FE News to give a voice back to the sector. As we now have over 3,000 newsrooms and contributors, FE Voices are usually thought leadership articles, they don’t necessarily have to be exclusive, but usually are, they are slightly shorter than Main Features. FE Voices can include more mixed media with the Further Education News articles, such as embedded podcasts and videos. Our sector response articles asking for different comments and opinions to education policy announcements or responding to a report of white paper are usually held in the FE Voices section. If we have a live podcast in an evening or a radio show such as SkillsWorldLive radio show, the next morning we place the FE podcast recording in the FE Voices section.

Sector News

In sector news we have a blend of content from Press Releases, education resources, reports, education research, white papers from a range of contributors. We have a lot of positive education news articles from colleges, awarding organisations and Apprenticeship Training Providers, press releases from DfE to Think Tanks giving the overview of a report, through to helpful resources to help you with delivering education strategies to your learners and students.

Podcasts

We have a range of education podcasts on FE News, from hour long full production FE podcasts such as SkillsWorldLive in conjunction with the Federation of Awarding Bodies, to weekly podcasts from experts and thought leaders, providing advice and guidance to leaders. FE News also record podcasts at conferences and events, giving you one on one podcasts with education and skills experts on the latest strategies and developments.

We have over 150 education podcasts on FE News, ranging from EdTech podcasts with experts discussing Education 4.0 and how technology is complimenting and transforming education, to podcasts with experts discussing education research, the future of work, how to develop skills systems for jobs of the future to interviews with the Apprenticeship and Skills Minister.

We record our own exclusive FE News podcasts, work in conjunction with sector partners such as FAB to create weekly podcasts and daily education podcasts, through to working with sector leaders creating exclusive education news podcasts.

Education Video Interviews

FE News have over 700 FE Video interviews and have been recording education video interviews with experts for over 12 years. These are usually vox pop video interviews with experts across education and work, discussing blue sky thinking ideas and views about the future of education and work.

Events

FE News has a free events calendar to check out the latest conferences, webinars and events to keep up to date with the latest education news and strategies.

FE Newsrooms

The FE Newsroom is home to your content if you are a FE News contributor. It also help the audience develop relationship with either you as an individual or your organisation as they can click through and ‘box set’ consume all of your previous thought leadership articles, latest education news press releases, videos and education podcasts.

Do you want to contribute, share your ideas or vision or share a press release?

If you want to write a thought leadership article, share your ideas and vision for the future of education or the future of work, write a press release sharing the latest education news or contribute to a podcast, first of all you need to set up a FE Newsroom login (which is free): once the team have approved your newsroom (all content, newsrooms are all approved by a member of the FE News team- no robots are used in this process!), you can then start adding content (again all articles, videos and podcasts are all approved by the FE News editorial team before they go live on FE News). As all newsrooms and content are approved by the FE News team, there will be a slight delay on the team being able to review and approve content.

 RSS IconRSS Feed Selection Page