GCSEs 2020: French and Spanish revival continues

New figures show more pupils were entered for GCSE French and Spanish this year than in 2019

John Roberts

Entries into French and Spanish were up this year's GCSE tables show.

Combined GCSE entries for the main modern languages have risen again this year, with Spanish seeing the biggest increase.

Tables published this morning by Ofqual show that there were 3 per cent more pupils entering either French, Spanish or German in 2020 in England than in the exams of 2019.


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Spanish saw the biggest increase of exam entries, rising from 96,811 to 103,992 according to the tables for entries in England.

French still remains the most popular subject though, with 124,043 entries this year compared with 122,803 the year before.

And German entries have declined from 41,222 to 40,688.

Overall, the number of entries into these three GCSE subjects increased to 268,723 this year from 260,836 in 2019.

But other modern language entries declined from 30,997 last year to 22,276 this year, meaning the overall number of pupils entering GCSE language exams was down slightly on 2019.

GCSE and A-level exams were not sat this year because of the Covid-19 lockdown.

Last year, Tes reported that modern foreign languages entries across the UK were up 3 per cent on 2018, despite the Department for Education admitting at the end of last year that it was “struggling hugely” with numbers of entries and that the situation “was getting worse”.

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John Roberts

John Roberts

John Roberts is North of England reporter for Tes

Find me on Twitter @JohnGRoberts

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