Latin will probably be taught in additional state colleges as a part of a brand new authorities scheme to finish the “elitist” notion of the topic.
Classicist Mary Beard has hailed the transfer, which can see £4m in funding for the Latin Excellency Programme (LEP) earlier than a evaluate in 2026.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson is thought to be a proponent of Latin, having studied classics at Oxford.
The LEP will attempt to improve the variety of pupils taking a GCSE within the language of the Roman Empire.
It would additionally embrace “visits to Roman heritage websites to offer pupils a deeper understanding of classics, and life within the historical world”.
Saying the transfer, the Division for Training stated it was following the mannequin of the Mandarin Excellence Programme.
This scheme, launched in 2016, now includes 75 colleges nationwide, and has greater than 6,000 pupils heading in direction of fluency within the language. One other £16.4m has been dedicated to additional the mission.
Training Secretary Gavin Williams stated: “We all know Latin has a popularity as an elitist topic which is simply reserved for the privileged few. However the topic can convey so many advantages to younger folks, so I need to put an finish to that divide.
“There needs to be no distinction in what pupils study at state colleges and unbiased colleges, which is why we’ve got a relentless deal with elevating faculty requirements and making certain all pupils research a broad, bold curriculum.
“Latin may also help pupils with studying fashionable international languages, and produce broader advantages to different topics, together with maths and English.”
At the moment, Latin is simply taught at 2.7% of state colleges at a key stage three degree.
This compares to 49% of unbiased colleges.
The LEP will probably be led by a “centre of excellence”, which can work with as many as 40 colleges to create assets for academics and college students from 12 months seven to 12 months 11.
Instructing will begin subsequent 12 months.
Classics professor and broadcaster Mary Beard stated: “I’m completely delighted that the DfE will probably be supporting Latin in colleges and serving to extra pupils to have the problem and enjoyable of studying in regards to the historical world.
“Latin is a very enriching topic. It offers you direct entry to a number of the most inspirational literature within the western world (from Virgil’s nice epic Aeneid to the historian Tacitus’ critique of the corruption of energy and the subversive counter-culture of the poet Ovid).
“Learning classics opens up historical past to us – from early dramas, that 2,000 years on are nonetheless a part of the theatrical repertoire, to some foundational philosophy, from democracy to empire, from highly effective rulers to the enslaved.
“Nevertheless it’s not simply in regards to the previous. Learning the traditional world helps us take a look at ourselves, and our personal issues, afresh and with clearer eyes.”