Nine schools to become modern foreign language hubs


The Department for Education has revealed that £4.8 million will aid the creation of a national language centre of excellence and nine hub schools.

Ministers have now allocated additional funding to the scheme – designed to boost the teaching of French, German and Spanish – in order to develop the hubs.

The schools will split £500,000 in annual funding and will share resources and best practice with others in order to enhance language provision across the UK.

Initially, the scheme was expected to attract £2 million in funding over a two year period but that figure has now been expanded in order to deliver coverage for four years.

The move is backed by the Confederation of British Industry, while the government has placed an emphasis on the ability of language skills to provide exciting opportunities and careers.

It builds on the Teaching Schools Council’s modern language pedagogy review from 2017 which suggested the vast majority of pupils should study a modern foreign language until at least the age of 16.

In that review, it was advised that the UK economy drops in performance by 3.5% as a result of poor translation and interpreting skills.

Schools minister Nick Gibb said the scheme will help teachers with the delivery of the key languages that employers require in the workplace.

“The knowledge pupils will gain in this subject at GCSE and A-Level will help deliver the skilled workforce we need and build a Britain that is fit for the future,” he said.

Nine schools will become language hubs, including Dartford Grammar School in Dartford; Sir William Borlase Grammar School in Marlow; Archbishop Temple School in Preston; and Cardinal Hume Catholic School in Gateshead.

St James’ School in Exeter, The Broxbourne School in Broxbourne, Blatchington Mill School and Sixth Form in Hove, Presdales School in Ware and Dixons Kings Academy in Bradford complete the list.

The centre of excellence will start working with these schools from this autumn, meaning funding will be available until 2022.