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Our PM demonstrates why Latin lessons plan is a bad idea

Just take a look at the cabinet to see how a focus on Latin, classics and PPE [Philosophy, Politics and Economics] in schools and universities does not guarantee success

Prime Minister Boris Johnson talks with primary school children

Credit: PA Images

The charming Lord Digby Jones has criticised BBC presenter Alex Scott for her inability to pronounce the ‘g’ at the end of the names of various Olympic sports. I think he has got his priorities wrong.

I thought that the importance of language was clarity in communication, for all of her lack of ‘RP’ [received pronunciation] I have never had an issue in understanding what Alex was saying.

The same cannot be said for many of our government ministers – frequently I hear the words, but have little or no understanding of their actual meaning, and the worst offender, our PM with his expensive and privileged Eton and Oxford education who, despite his alleged oratorial skills, struggles to string a coherent sentence together – hardly a good advert for an education in ‘classics’.

Meanwhile, an initiative has been launched to encourage the teaching of Latin in state schools.

Given the imperative in recent years to move to STEM subjects, at the expense of the creative and humanities subjects, I shall be interested to see how they now justify the value of an academic subject such as Latin, when much of recent policy towards GCSE, A Level and Degree subjects has been on those that address specific labour market needs, and the merit of studying a subject on its own merits has been downplayed?

Or is the view that there is a labour market need for classics (and PPE) graduates in politics? Based on the performance of the current cabinet, most of whom have such degrees, I would suggest that this may not be the case… 

Nick Roberts, Birmingham

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