Stephen Timms

East Ham

Labour

AQA has taken a unilateral decision to scrap the A-level in Polish from 2018. Are you going to lobby the AQA to reverse their decision? If yes, are there any other actions which you would undertake in order to preserve the Polish A-level?

In particular, I know there are concerns about the decision by the AQA exam board to discontinue A-Level Polish from 2018. Foreign languages are an important part of our education system, and that they can give people the necessary skills and opportunity to meet the challenges of a multilingual society and global economy.

It important to consider levels of demand among students and the availability of examiners and teachers when deciding which courses should be offered. The Government has expressed concern over the potential withdrawal of a number of foreign language qualifications. I will follow this issue closely and scrutinise any proposals the Government come forward with on this matter.

Poland was the most loyal ally of Britain in the Second World War and the Polish army contributed to the defeat of Nazi Germany. Would you therefore challenge some of the British media falsely labelling the German concentration and death camps as being “Polish” e.g. Polish ghetto, death camps of Poland, or, Poland’s Auschwitz?

It is important that we do not forget the sacrifices of the Polish people during the Second World War and their contribution to the defeat of Nazism. Poland endured a brutal occupation and it would be quite wrong for this to be forgotten by history or the media. Sensitivities around the use of language should be part of this.

Do you support promoting information about the positive contribution of Polish immigrants to the economy of the UK?

Thank you for contacting me recently about British-Polish relations. I appreciate the valuable contribution that the Polish community make to Britain. I also recognise that it is important to address the concerns that some British Poles have raised.

In the event of Brexit, would you support granting an unconditional Indefinite Leave To Remain to the EU citizens who have lived and worked in Britain under the freedom of movement rules?

The Government is currently legislating for a referendum on the UK’s membership of the European Union. I believe that Britain should remain a member of a reformed EU and build strong relationships with our European neighbours. It will be important for the Prime Minister to clarify a number of important points about our relationship with the EU prior to the referendum, including the potential implications for those who have moved to Britain under freedom of movement rules.

Would you consider joining the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Poland and finding out about its activities and initiatives?

I will continue to follow these issues closely and the work of the APPG on Poland. Please do not hesitate to contact me about this or any other matter in the future.


Questions were sent out after the elections.