UK students are taking foreign languages at GCSE level in ever-lower numbers, and one reason for this, according to education regulator Ofqual, is that it's harder to get the highest grades in French and German because of the way they're exactingly marked. So the solution is to make them a little easier.
Or rather, to ask those in charge of grading exams to be a little less strict, which is nearly the same thing. Teachers have been asking for this change for years, as the perception is that French and German exams are unusually harsh in their demands and are the hardest of all GCSE subjects to take, leaving straight-A students with embarrassing Bs and Cs on their permanent record for not quite getting the sex of the table right or using the wrong plural when ordering more than one of the chocolate bread things they have for breakfast over there.
Exam boards are therefore being asked to adjust their grading standards in time for 2020 exam season. There is probably a funny German word for this lowering of expectations, but I only got a C so never learnt it. [GOV via BBC]