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Six years French is too much

Clackmannan council has ripped into language learning and challenged the ministerial action group to produce radical proposals to revive waning interest. A paper approved by councillors and headteachers questions compelling all pupils to spend six years learning other languages.

Clackmannan accepts a foreign language can improve business effectiveness.

But the competence of the 95 per cent of pupils who ditch languages at the end of S4 is "quite insufficient" for business life. "Even where the pupil continues successfully into S5 and S6, the commercial value of a good pass in Higher French to a company which trades in the Far East will prove limited," it says.

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