A quarter of pupils taking A-level languages are privately educated, ISC figures show

Independent school pupils make up a quarter of all entries for A-levels in French, German and Spanish, new figures show.

In 2015, a total of just 10,328 pupils studied French at A-level across the UK, with 2,572 (24.9 per cent) attending independent schools, according to an analysis of exam board statistics published by the Independent Schools Council (ISC) today.

Both Spanish and German also had low entry numbers, with independent school pupils providing a quarter of both. Nationally, only 14 per cent of all A-level students are educated in independent schools.

At GCSE, where the ISC says 5 per cent of all students are independently educated, more than 60 per cent of all entries for Classics are from independent schools.

The news comes amid what many believe is a crisis in modern foreign languages at A-level. Experts have warned that up to 40 per cent of university departments could close over the next decade because of lack of demand and competition between institutions.

Barnaby Lenon, chairman of the ISC, said: “Data shows yet again that independent schools punch well above their weight when it comes to achievement and uptake of some of the most important subjects.

“The large number of pupils taking sciences and modern languages and their high grades explains why they gain places in these subjects at top universities.

“In fact in some cases they are propping up university departments.”

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