AQA, the exam board that provides A-levels in languages such as Polish, Punjabi, Bengali and Hebrew is planning to scrap them in 2017. Fiona Mactaggart, MP for Slough raised the issue in Parliament in a debate in the House of Commons about qualifications, calling for the Government to intervene. Her Intervention was followed by a debate which dealt with the teaching of modern foreign languages to which the education minister Nick Gibb responded saying:
“Having listened carefully to the arguments made… both during the debate and outside the Chamber, I will raise his concerns and those of other hon. Members with the chief executives of the awarding organisations, including OCR and AQA, and I will invite them to reconsider their current position—I will do that tomorrow—and to subordinate what I believe to be a commercial calculation to the far more significant long-term economic and cultural considerations for this country. In doing so, I will also question them closely about the financial rationale for their decisions.”
Fiona commented, "I raised this in Parliament because I couldn’t get a straight answer from anyone when a constituent had approached me about the plan to end the A level in Polish. I discovered that Punjabi, also a subject valued by many of my constituents was also at risk. I wrote to the exam board, they blamed the regulator Ofqual. I wrote to Ofqual and they blamed the Government and exam boards. The Government didn’t bother to respond. Polish and Punjabi are the second most spoken languages in the country after English, and young people should have the right to study these subjects to A-level standard.
“The demand for Polish is rising fast. There is no reason why these popular languages should be cut. I will do everything I can to make sure the government intervention works to protect these examinations
"To be able to compete in the world, we need people that can speak languages spoken in emerging markets. This includes languages like Polish and Punjabi. The Government needs to take urgent action and intervene so Britain can compete in the world."