Latin could return to Scottish schools before 2011; may be studied by students as young as nine

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Scotia videri potest inter fines Regni Uniti.


Another day, another piece of news on Latin. This one is from the Scotsman and is about Education Secretary Fiona Hyslop's support for bringing the language back into schools in Scotland.

Latin doesn't seem to be as popular in Scotland as it is south of the border, where enrollment is way up:
Hyslop, who herself studied classics at school, believes teaching Latin will give youngsters a better understanding of their own language as well as making it easier to learn French and Spanish.

And with JK Rowling's Harry Potter books making Latin more popular than ever with children, as the boy wizard casts his spells in the ancient language, there is an appetite for learning among pupils.

Teachers and politicians last night welcomed the move but warned Hyslop would have to find extra funds to help colleges train classics teachers and councils employ them.

Although Latin remains an optional subject on the school curriculum in Scotland, its popularity has dwindled over the past decade. This summer, the numbers of pupils sitting Higher Latin fell to just 826, with only a quarter of candidates coming from state schools.

South of the border Latin is already enjoying a renaissance. The number of schools offering Latin in England has tripled in the past eight years.
There seems to be a lot of support for the move and it could happen relatively soon:
Many education leaders in Scotland were also keen to get Latin back into schools, and would support any move by the minister, said the source.

Officially, a spokeswoman for Hyslop conceded a move could be taken before the next Scottish Parliament election in 2011. She said: "She certainly supports it. Latin is something that could crop up over the next session or so."


Edit: Here's an article in French about this article from The Scotsman too.

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