Tomorrow's Times carries a piece by someone called Natalie Haynes reacting to the news that it's harder to get an A in Latin than in any other GCSE.
She makes the good point that Latin and Greek are much more interesting than modern languages.
I hated learning French, and gave it up as soon as I could — not because it was difficult, but because it was achingly tedious. Why would anyone want to spend 40 minutes trying to explain their Saturday job, or what they did at the weekend, to a bored Swiss teaching assistant who had a tangible hangover and indefensible shoes? I ran straight into the welcoming folds of A-level Latin and Greek, where I was reasonably certain to be reading about people killing their mothers (Electra), embarking on an elephantine alpine excursion (Livy XXI) or committing big, messy suicide (all classical literature).
But she doesn't begin to tackle the problem that schools are less likely to offer Latin at all if a pupil's chances of getting an A in Latin are demonstrably lower than of getting an A in, say, Geography.
So how are we to proceed? I can only reiterate my view that each GCSE should be allotted a weighting, a larger number of points for a C in Latin or Greek than for a C in Woodwork (which is now called Materials Technology or something).
It would be possible to have two GCSEs, Latin Language and Latin Literature. The mechanism doesn't really matter. What we must insist on is a proper recognition of the work involved in taking and succeeding in the Classical languages.