British Council Language Cuts U-Turn

Four weeks ago I blogged against the Coalition government´s proposal to cut the British Council Assistantship scheme in which young Britons travel abroad to undertake teaching in a foreign school.

With radically improved language skills, a taste of foreign culture, and the chance to try teaching all on offer, it is not hard to see why thousands seek a place on the programme each year.

I´m delighted to read in today´s Independent that this decision has been overturned. It shows how important it is to campaign against, and protest about the government´s unthinking ideologically driven cuts. As the Independent lists there´s a talented list of graduates….

“The programme’s alumni include the Harry Potter author JK Rowling, and the broadcasters Fiona Bruce and Angus Deayton. The BBC journalist Reeta Chakrabarti , writer Stephen Clarke and impressionist Rory Bremner also taught in foreign classrooms, while Aston Villa manager Gérard Houllier worked as foreign language assistant in England.”

3 Comments

Filed under Labour Party

3 responses to “British Council Language Cuts U-Turn

  1. Daniel Oxley

    It is very easy for Labour Party supporters to present themselves as ‘caring’ by demanding that this or that be spared from the cuts. All it requires is a bit of amnesia.
    They have to forget that they got us into this mess. Even the last Labour Secretary to the Treasury admitted it when he informed his successor, ‘I’m afraid to tell you there’s no money left’.
    In any case, I have already explained on a previous comment how the shortfall required; some £750,000 for the programme could easily be saved from public funds.
    All that is required is for Newham Council to stop wasting this same amount of money each year publishing their year round election leaflet which is known as the Newham Mag.
    The magazine can be seen online at http://www.newham.gov.uk/AboutNewham/Newhammag.htm but those who can’t be bothered to look at it; (and who could blame them), can get a flavour of it if I point out that since September 2008 this fortnightly outrage against objective journalism has included 295 photographs of Newham’s Mayor.

  2. This “U-turn” has to be a welcome move. Encouraging the British to gain proficiency in other languages – for both linguistic and social reasons – is a difficult task at the best of times.

    It is also the case that people who are gifted in foreign languages don’t fully appreciate the complexities of their own language.

  3. Rom Dormer

    ?????? I beg to differ … learning a foreign language makes you appreciate the structure and origins of your native tongue – and also many nuances of meaning.