Access to Latin in UK Schools – a newly published survey

A 70 page report giving the results of a survey of all secondary schools in the UK has been published by the Cambridge Schools Classics Project. The hard copy, which many people will want for reference, can be ordered from the Project Office, price £12.95, by email or telephone (+44) (0)1223 361458.

The full report is also on line as pdf (see below for link).

I have skimmed the online version very quickly, and see that the findings have been set out with a clarity and lack of jargon worthy of Classicists (rather than 'educationalists'). The greater part of the report is in the form of informative maps and tables. It is clear, for instance that Somerset, where I delight to live for its natural beauty, is a county of shame when it comes to the provision of Latin in state schools. It stands out on one map (page 7) as a white area, and that means that 0% to 5% of state secondary schools offer Latin. Fortunately it is one of just a few authorities that are failing. Most of the map has at least some colour. Another map (page 19), shading areas more than 10 miles from any state secondary school offering Latin, again shows Somerset as one of the few areas of shame.

Having gained a general impression from the maps, one can see the details in the tables. Brief summaries in plain English follow each section of the report.

There are interesting and slightly surprising findings on the correlation between free school meals and Latin provision, and between schools offering Latin and pupils for whom English is a second language (p.25).

'Soundbite' type general findings are at the beginning and end of the report.

Martin Dawes deserves the congratulations and thanks of the Classics community for analysing and presenting such a wealth of information.

The survey is here.

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