AQA, keep the A-Level Polish Exam after 2018
This petition had 16,257 supporters
AQA has taken a unilateral decision to scrap the A-level in Polish from 2018.
We strongly oppose this decision.
Polish immigration to the UK, since EU enlargement in 2004, far exceeds that of other EU countries. The 2011 census showed that 579,000 UK residents had originally been born in Poland. In addition there has been a sizeable Polish community in this country since the Second World War.
The growth over a ten year period in the number of candidates taking Polish A-Level is remarkable. French decreased by 26%, German by 28%, Spanish increased by 33%, Chinese by 74%, Russian by 90%, and Polish by 1000%.
It should be noted that most Polish A-level candidates sit the examinations at their local English or Welsh schools, so their results have a positive effect on the schools’ overall results.
There are currently over 130 Polish supplementary schools in the UK, grouped under the Polish Educational Society umbrella, with the number increasing year on year. Currently the number of students in Polish Saturday schools exceeds 15,000 and is forecast to rise significantly in the coming years.
Statistics show that at present, there are over 25 000 Polish children attending mainstream education in London alone.
Since nearly 5,000 candidates sit the GCSE exam in Polish and the AS / A-Level classes are being introduced in a growing number of schools, it seems clear that we need to prepare to meet the growing demand to sit A-Level exams in Polish, rather than turn down the opportunity.
An A-level in Polish is equivalent to an A-level in one of the other major modern languages, and is accepted for university entrance, both in the UK and Poland. Furthermore, the qualification enhances the prospects of young people who chose to live in the UK, enhancing their employment opportunities in an economy that is increasingly looking outwards – towards Europe and the rest of the world, where knowledge of a second language is so important.
Polish is currently the second language spoken in the UK. By discontinuing exams in Polish and keeping other languages AQA is not providing equal opportunities for one of England’s largest minorities.
The UK is, year on year, increasing the business it does with Poland. Currently Poland is the ninth most important export market for the UK (Source: UK Trade and Investments).
The information and facts presented above clearly demonstrate that scrapping the Polish A-level is a very short sighted decision, which does not serve the Polish community in the UK, their local hosting communities, nor the interests of British business. The lack of consultation in taking this decision clearly demonstrates to Polish immigrants and people of Polish origin that their voice is not considered important enough to discuss such a key issue, and that decisions about them have been taken over their heads.
We urge AQA to reverse this unreasonable decision.
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