£10m extra investment announced for Mandarin lessons

Osborne made the announcement on a visit to China while addressing an audience of Chinese financiers. The extra investment will be used to recruit and train teaching staff to teach the language up to GCSE level, and aims to see 5,000 pupils learning China’s main language by 2020.

Osborne said: “In Britain, there is a hunger to learn more and understand more about this great civilisation. I’m here in China to help forge closer economic and cultural relationships between our nations, and this announcement is another great example of things we are doing to help grow both of our economies."

Speaking to the BBC, Osborne added: "At the moment about 1,000 children in our schools do GCSE Mandarin.

"Why don't we make that 5,000 children in our schools over the next five years... learning a language that is becoming a great international language, rather than, frankly, languages that are not spoken by very large numbers of people?

"That's an ambition that says Britain wants to be engaged in the future."

Read more