Languages in schools cost a ‘drop in the ocean’

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THE price tag suggested for adding more foreign languages to the school curriculum has been described as “just a drop in the ocean”, by Scotland’s main union for teachers.

The Educational Institute of Scotland told MSPs investigating the plan at Holyrood that the Scottish Government’s ambition of piloting languages in primary school was to be welcomed but ministers had to be realistic about the scale of the challenge,.

The overnment has said it will provide £120,000 to fund pilot projects and an additional £4 million in 2013-14 to support councils.

Hugh Donnelly, a member of the union’s education committee, said: “I think the £4 million is a drop in the ocean. I think also the scale and ambition did surprise a lot of us in education.”

“The upbeat thing about this project is that we’re beginning to look at this afresh. It is a big opportunity to stop the rot and actually to build a base for the future.

“I’m not being pessimistic, I am being realistic. If we achieve progress from these recommendations, I think that will be a fantastic thing. The better the progress, the more sophisticated the progress, the better resourced it is, the happier I will be.”