More pupils studied Chinese A-level than German for the first time this year.
According to a breakdown of entries for modern foreign languages released by the Joint Council for Qualifications (JCQ), a total of 3,334 pupils in the UK opted to take an A-level in Chinese – an increase of 8.6 per cent from last year.
However, German has continued its steady decline with just 3,058 studying the A-level, a 17 per cent decrease from last year.
In September 2015, then-chancellor George Osborne announced £10 million funding for the Mandarin Excellence Programme which aimed to get 5,000 more pupils studying the language by 2020.
However, Amanda Spielman, head of Ofsted, said last month during a radio interview that it was more helpful for pupils to learn European languages before attempting Mandarin.
There was an overall 3.1 per cent increase in pupils taking ‘other modern languages’, which includes all A-level languages apart from French, German, Spanish, Irish and Welsh.
French remains the most popular language choice at A-level, with 8,713 pupils studying it in the UK this year, although this still represents a fall of almost eight per cent on last year.
Entries for A-level Chinese
Entries for A-level German