LATIN is set to be introduced at a troubled secondary school to try and lift aspirations and encourage pupils to go to university.

Dr Rory Fox, who became headteacher at the Basildon Academies last year, is enhancing the language programme to broaden students’ horizons and open opportunities to go on to further education abroad.

New language specialists have been brought in at the academies’ Timberlog Lane and Wickford Avenue campuses, which are in special measures.

Latin will initially be taught as an extra-curricular club. Dr Fox said: “When I started, there were no languages being taught here.

“We began teaching Spanish and Year 10 have done really well. We are expecting great GCSE results from them next year.

“I believe by teaching children a language it enhances their confidence and makes a person more employable . “I will teaching Latin to the older pupils. It is going to start as a club and we will go from there.

“We want to give the children the best start possible and also encourage them to look at going to university in another European country. Fees are lower in other countries and if you can speak another language it makes you even more attractive.”

Parent Dennis Sweeney, 32, of Dengayne, Basildon , whose step-daughter Cheyenne Collier, 16, has just finished at the academies, said teaching Latin was a great idea.

He said: “It’s going to give the kids something to aspire to. Secondary school should be the place where they can stretch their talents and improving languages is a really good idea. It will make them more attractive to employers when they are looking for work.”

Sheren Breslin, an English and Spanish teacher at the school, said: “I have worked across many schools which are under-performing and its always a challenge to try and turn things round.

“I strongly believe teaching the children Spanish will give them more confidence in their own language and improve their skills in general. It is quite an easy language to pick up and the results we are getting are very good.”