Staff shortages curtail Chinese classes at Cumbernauld secondary

The launch of the Confucius Classroom in 2011
The launch of the Confucius Classroom in 2011

Education bosses have spoken of their difficulties in retaining the full level of cover needed to teach Chinese at Our Lady’s High School.

The secondary was famously able to offer the full experience of the Confucius Classroom up to exam level and was the only school in North Lanarkshire to do so.

However, the programme has not been running at full strength for some time - and a recruitment problem would appear to be the issue.

Yet it was stressed that attempts would continue to ensure that teaching at the most advanced level could continue - and that the school would continue to teach Chinese in the meantime.

It was also stressed that pupils can still have the chance to visit China as was the case beforehand.

A spokesperson for North Lanarkshire Council said: “We are fully committed to the continuation of the Confucius Classroom initiative at Our Lady’s High School in Cumbernauld.

“The project is still continuing but due to staffing issues we are unable to teach SQA level courses.

“We are working hard to recruit a new GTC-registered Mandarin teacher.

“However, due to the limited numbers of people who hold these qualifications, it will take some time to appoint a replacement.

“The school currently offers Mandarin in S1 and S2.

“It has strong links with Strathclyde University and the Confucius Institute. And they offer summer immersions to China and fully funded scholarships for S5 and S6.”