UK schools to get £10m for Mandarin

George Osborne suggests it will be more relevant than French or German in the future

After a recent trip to Germany I switched my beer of choice to Warsteiner, and I remember the word ‘y’all’ entering my lexicon after two weeks in New Orleans (after being told on our first evening that “y’all sound like the folk from Titanic”). Then, in Rome last year, I was so taken by the Italian-cut, blue suits on display I had to remind myself not to waste all my money on one as it might not look quite as cool in the dreary English weather as it did on the stylish locals.

It appears that George Osborne has been gripped with the same holiday fever, as after a recent visit to China, he has announced that Mandarin in English schools will get a £10m injection, with 5,000 more pupils being taught it over by 2020, George Osborne has said on a visit to China. My Italian suit wouldn’t have cost anywhere near that.

The money will go toward training and recruiting teachers at secondary level, as Osborne believes that learning Mandarin will give young children a better chance of success in our “increasingly global economy” suggesting it will be more relevant to them than French or German.

While the push to teach Mandarin would only be in secondary schools for now, it will be interesting to see if it should be successful enough to start extending into primaries.