David Rutley, Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office Minister for the British Council and Member of Parliament for Macclesfield visited Tytherington School in Macclesfield to meet pupils involved in the Mandarin Excellence Programme.
This week 30 students and 3 teachers from Yancheng, China, have visited the school as part of its commitment to learning the Mandarin language. David Rutley met with Headteacher, Manny Botwe, alongside David Thompson, UK Director of the British Council, before speaking to a number of the pupils from Macclesfield and Yancheng as part of a farewell ceremony.
The Mandarin Excellence Programme, which is funded by the Department for Education and delivered by UCL and the British Council, is an intensive language programme that sees secondary school pupils studying Mandarin for eight hours a week, starting in Year 7. There are currently more than 6,500 pupils from state schools across England participating in the programme.
In July 2024, as part of the programme, students from Tytherington School will travel to China to join around 2,000 other pupils from across England learning Mandarin. Pupils will take part in a mixture of Mandarin lessons and cultural and tourist trips to practice using their Mandarin.
Following his visit to the school, David Rutley said:
‘The British Council has a vital role to play in building connections and understanding between the UK and countries across the world. As Minister for the Americas, Caribbean and Overseas Territories, I have had the opportunity to see their important projects at work in Latin America. Today, I have been delighted to see how the British Council has boosted educational opportunities in our local community.’