The Wiltshire secretary for the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL) has voiced concern over the grading of A-levels in modern languages.

David Nicholson, who is also principal of Abbeyfield School in Chippenham, said students were being put off taking the qualification because it was harder than other subjects to get a good grade.

He said: “The overall decline in the number of modern language entries is a concern and ASCL is calling on Ofqual to address the grading issue.

“Many headteachers have been saying for years there is an issue with grading of modern language exams. Students know it is harder to get a high grade in languages and undoubtedly this has factored to a certain extent into their choice of subjects. We are pleased Ofqual has recognised the need to do something to address this.”

Mr Nicholson said he hoped it would be resolved quickly because it was a valuable A-level to have.

He said: “In the job market, the ability to speak more than one language makes British graduates more competitive and businesses need to send out this message loud and clear. Students are savvy to what employers want, and if they hear businesses say that graduates who can speak more than one language are in demand, they will respond. We have already seen this happening in sciences, maths and engineering. Employers have said there are jobs for graduates in these areas.”