What did the Romans do for us?

November 30, 2010, 2:32 AM GMT+0

The British public does not seem at all convinced that Latin is an important lesson for our school children, despite the attempt of many famous faces, such as Joanna Lumley, Ian Hislop, Boris Johnson and Sir Tom Stoppard fighting to keep the dead languages alive with the ‘Classics for All’ campaign.

  • In comparison, 95% of people considered Maths to be an important subject, putting it in first place
  • 94% chose English Language as an important subject, making it second most important
  • 91% of people chose IT/Computing, making it third most important

The ‘Classics for All’ campaign was launched this year with the objective of widening access to the study of Classics, including the teaching of Latin, into the state education sector through the provision of significant grants.

In defence of the scheme, Bettany Hughes, best known for her presentation of classical history television programmes, writes on the 'Classics for All' campaign’s website, ‘An understanding of the classics, and of the civilisations of the distant past, equips the 21st century young man and woman with something unique’.

But despite the various famous faces supporting the campaign, our data suggests that they have a long way to go to convince the country Caesar conquered to donate money towards the upkeep of the Latin language.

See the survey details and full results