Classics seems constantly under threat in schools, yet the subject evolves and survives. Threats to it are taken seriously. When one of the UK examination boards dropped Greek and Latin from the curricula offered to schools, questions were asked in Parliament. Here contributors from fourteen European countries, including the UK, outline the state of Classics teaching in their own countries: what part Classics play in the curriculum, how many pupils take Latin and Greek, and what kind of courses are offered. They explain how much language learning takes place and what proportion of the course is devoted to the culture of Greece and Rome. They illustrate how politics, historical and linguistic traditions and different national organisation and expectations can all affect educational outcomes. Some demonstrate that Classics has a stable and secure position in the national curriculum, while others show how committed teachers can adopt various strategies to inspire enthusiasm in their students. Most describe how their national education systems put pressure on Classics teachers by reducing their timetable allowance and restricting the possibilities of creating classes.
John Bulwer teaches Classics at the European School in Brussels.