Latin shall be taught in additional state colleges as a part of a brand new authorities scheme to finish the “elitist” notion of the topic.
Classicist Mary Beard has hailed the transfer, which is able to see £4m in funding for the Latin Excellency Programme (LEP) earlier than a evaluation in 2026.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson is understood to be a proponent of Latin, having studied classics at Oxford.
The LEP will attempt to improve the variety of pupils taking a GCSE within the language of the Roman Empire.
It should additionally embrace “visits to Roman heritage websites to offer pupils a deeper understanding of classics, and life within the historical world”.
Saying the transfer, the Division for Training stated it was following the mannequin of the Mandarin Excellence Programme.
This scheme, launched in 2016, now entails 75 colleges nationwide, and has greater than 6,000 pupils heading in the direction of fluency within the language. One other £16.4m has been dedicated to additional the undertaking.
Training Secretary Gavin Williams stated: “We all know Latin has a fame as an elitist topic which is just reserved for the privileged few. However the topic can convey so many advantages to younger folks, so I need to put an finish to that divide.
“There ought to be no distinction in what pupils study at state colleges and impartial colleges, which is why we’ve got a relentless deal with elevating college requirements and making certain all pupils research a broad, bold curriculum.
“Latin may help pupils with studying trendy overseas languages, and convey broader advantages to different topics, together with maths and English.”
At present, Latin is just taught at 2.7% of state colleges at a key stage three stage.
This compares to 49% of impartial colleges.
The LEP shall be led by a “centre of excellence”, which is able to work with as many as 40 colleges to create sources for lecturers and college students from yr seven to yr 11.
Educating will begin subsequent yr.
Classics professor and broadcaster Mary Beard stated: “I’m completely delighted that the DfE shall be supporting Latin in colleges and serving to extra pupils to have the problem and enjoyable of studying in regards to the historical world.
“Latin is an awfully enriching topic. It offers you direct entry to a few of the most inspirational literature within the western world (from Virgil’s nice epic Aeneid to the historian Tacitus’ critique of the corruption of energy and the subversive counter-culture of the poet Ovid).
“Finding out classics opens up historical past to us – from early dramas, that 2,000 years on are nonetheless a part of the theatrical repertoire, to some foundational philosophy, from democracy to empire, from highly effective rulers to the enslaved.
“However it’s not simply in regards to the previous. Finding out the traditional world helps us take a look at ourselves, and our personal issues, afresh and with clearer eyes.”
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