Latin lessons are to be offered to thousands of state school pupils across the country as part of an effort by the Department for Education to make the language less “elitist”.
Education Secretary Gavin Williamson said a new programme would ensure the subject was not “for the privileged few”.
A £4 million Latin Excellence Programme will see the ancient language offered to 40 state schools in England as part of a four-year pilot, according to The Daily Telegraph.
The paper said that staff at the selected schools will be trained and given resources to teach Latin to 11 to 16-year-olds.
Mr Williamson said: “We know Latin has a reputation as an elitist subject which is only reserved for the privileged few.
“But the subject can bring so many benefits to young people, so I want to put an end to that divide.
“There should be no difference in what pupils learn at state schools and independent schools, which is why we have a relentless focus on raising school standards and ensuring all pupils study a broad, ambitious curriculum.”
If you can read a bit of Latin you must be clever. If you are bilingual in English and Welsh, or English and Punjabi or English and pretty well any other modern language, you’re not clever.— Michael Rosen ???? (@MichaelRosenYes) July 31, 2021
Latin to be offered in State Schools— nazir afzal (@nazirafzal) July 31, 2021
From the Govt that gave us 140,000 dead, now a dead language
As Chair of an FE college, we will continue to give students the skills based learning they need for the 21st century, not for the 1st
Seriously? You have got to be f*cking kidding me! If you want kids to learn modern foreign languages, then teach them – oh, I don’t know – modern foreign languages! https://t.co/i02bJUvQXe— Tim Bale (@ProfTimBale) July 31, 2021
Hmm. It’s elite because only people who are guaranteed successful careers thanks to family connections, can afford to waste time on a subject whose only practical application is in understanding some of the dialogue in Asterix books… https://t.co/VefZPKHsXC— Tim Farron (@timfarron) July 30, 2021
Latin is an inefficient way to learn Italian or Spanish, and a very inefficient way to learn English grammar. I don’t see how studying Latin will teach maths. https://t.co/H2aHxulEJ3— Richard Tol (@RichardTol) July 31, 2021
Latin, we read, will be taught in UK schools as “officials believe it will help pupils learn modern languages”— Alex Taylor (@AlexTaylorNews) July 31, 2021
THE BEST WAY TO HELP PUPILS LEARN MODERN LANGUAGES IS TO TEACH THEM MODERN LANGUAGES !!!!! ???https://t.co/fnYYMcrQOG
As a classics graduate I absolutely adore Latin and had lots of fun learning it, but, seriously, funding for modern foreign languages MUST be a priority. Nothing else makes sense. https://t.co/5XvCclanTA— Dr Emmy Eklundh (@dr_eklundh) July 31, 2021