Government pledges commitment to preserve Hebrew GCSE and A Level


The government has pledged its commitment to preserving Hebrew as a GCSE and A Level subject in a meeting with the Board of Deputies.

Department for Education minister Nick Gibb met the Board’s chief executive Gillian Merron, public affairs director Phil Rosenberg and education policy manage Sara Perlmutter on Monday to discuss how they could protect the subject from being axed.

This came after the OCR and AQA exam boards, which offer biblical Hebrew and modern Hebrew respectively, announced earlier in the year that both subjects face being cut from their roster in 2017, alongside other “non-traditional” languages.

Since then, the Board has been lobbying government leaders and exam boards to protect the language. The issue was highlighted in the Board’s Jewish Manifesto for the General Election, and was one of Nicky Morgan’s key issues during her campaign.

Following the meeting, Ms Merron said: “We found the Minister very engaged and constructive on the issues we raised.

“Protecting the teaching of Hebrew is a clear priority for us – and it was good to hear that the government shares our view.”

Schools Minister Nick Gibb said: “We are committed to working with the exam boards to ensure that qualifications in minority languages such as Hebrew continue. We welcome the work of the Board of Deputies in drawing attention to this important issue.”

During the meeting, the group also discussed extremism in schools and how the community would be affected by a review of the Admissions Code in state schools.

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