As China impacts British students’ lives more than ever before, it is crucial that more of our young people begin learning Mandarin Chinese. Currently the majority of Mandarin language teaching in UK schools takes place as an extra-curricular activity, often involving very small numbers of students and peripatetic teachers. For example, whereas 150,000 students took GCSE French last year, barely 3,000 took GCSE Mandarin. Moreover, many of these pupils come from Chinese-speaking backgrounds and learn Mandarin at supplementary Chinese weekend schools as opposed to mainstream schools. Overall, the profile of Mandarin learners in UK schools remains skewed towards those from more affluent backgrounds.