Suzanne O'Farrell, curriculum and assessment specialist at the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL), said: "We're seeing German just moving into extinction really. It is in severe decline."
“In the 1960s, 70s and even the 80s, Germany was the economic powerhouse of Europe,” he told The Daily Telegraph.
“Pupils were strongly encouraged to study German because of the importance of the German economy. Although it is still strong, that argument has faded, and China has emerged in the last 25 years as the fastest growing economy in the world.”
“It is not the case that large number of states schools are now teaching Chinese A-levels. They are not,” he said.
He said many of the entries will be Chinese native speakers, adding that independent schools have attracted “large numbers” of Chinese pupils in recent years.
Aspirational middle class families sending their children to be educated in the UK has fuelled a steady increase in Chinese students, with number at fee-paying schools almost doubling in five years according to ISC data.
Mark Herbert, director of schools and skills at the British Council, welcomed the rise in Chinese A-level entries.
“Against this overall downward trend, the increasing popularity of Chinese proves that our young people can be enthused to study languages,” he said.
“Our research shows that Mandarin will be one of the most important languages for the UK’s future prosperity and global standing – but we mustn’t neglect Spanish, French and German which will still be vital post-Brexit.”