Subjects at risk if cuts are forced on schools

SCHOOLS could be forced to axe subjects from their timetables to cope with budget cuts in a move which could hit the brightest pupils most, it was reported today.

The Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL) is reportedly advising schools to look at scrapping courses that are taken by small numbers of students, if they are not cost effective.

The move could hit optional subjects like languages – which are already suffering from a sharp decline in candidates.

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ASCL general secretary Brian Lightman said that schools will have to consider ditching expensive optional subjects, and it could be “the most able” students that suffer.

He said: “These kinds of management decisions that leaders have to make all the time will come more sharply into focus.

“Languages in some schools will be vulnerable. We are already worried about them and this could speed up the decline.”

Such a move would lead to fears that private schools will dominate in subjects like languages.

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Figures for modern foreign language entries show the numbers entering for French down 3.4 per cent and German down 3.8 per cent.

The Government is due to set out spending cuts next month. Although there has been a promise to protect frontline education services, schools are braced for reductions on other parts of the schools budget.

n Primary schools are still suffering from a lack of male teachers, official figures showed today.

The General Teaching Council for England revealed there were 25,896 men working in primary schools on March 31 this year, compared with 181,696 women.