China is the world's fastest growing and most dynamic economy, and one of the most influential regions of the globe. Yet China barely features in the UK schools' curriculum. Much more needs to be done to promote Chinese Studies - non-language as well as language - throughout the school system. The British Association for Chinese Studies has been actively involved in various initiatives over the years to promote the study of China and Chinese at different levels of the education system.

If you are looking for information about Chinese in UK primary and secondary schools, CILT, the National Centre for Languages, is the Government’s recognised centre of expertise on languages. Their website provides statistics, links and information. In 2003 there were around 70 secondary schools which provided Chinese language teaching; by 2008 this had increased to around 500 schools.

BACS Schools Liaison Officer, Katharine Carruthers, runs The Schools Network (formerly the Specialist Schools Trust) Chinese Network for school teachers and pupils of Mandarin.

The network's website site contains many useful links for teachers and learners of Chinese at school level. See

The 2011 University admission policy report, based on a survey carried out by The Schools Network in conjunction with BACS, provides schools and applicants with information on university policies towards applicants who have studied Chinese to GCSE, AS and A2 level at school.

The British Council's Schools Partnership programme with China involves a range of opportunities for schools and teachers:

Professional Development Seminars

School Partnerships

Language immersion - for teachers and students

Joint Curriculum Projects

Gap year in China

Chinese Language Assistants Programme

Chinese Speaking Competition for schools

See also the BACS Links Page for schools/teaching links.

Dr Jenny Clegg carried out a Survey of Chinese Studies in UK Schools for BACS in 2003. This was published by BACS in January 2004, with a follow-up in July 2005, and may be viewed here.

Also see: Specialist Schools Trust Chinese Network