DfE unveils funding pot for foreign exchange and language development


Schools across Britain can apply for a share of funding to support disadvantaged pupils with language development and foreign exchange trips, the Department for Education has announced.

Some £2.5 million has been set aside so that an estimated 2,900 secondary school pupils can either participate in foreign exchange programmes or travel overseas to learn.

The fund will target schools that have a higher than average proportion of pupil premium children, helping to provide a greater range of learning opportunities.

It is designed to boost language skills and to increase the uptake of pupils that take modern foreign language subjects at GCSE level.

Part of the programme encourages pupils to spend time with native speakers and host families in other countries and will be run in partnership with the British Council.

According to the Council, around 39% of secondary schools and 77% of private schools in the UK run foreign exchange trips.

Education Secretary Damian Hinds has showcased the need for British schools to ensure that pupils have a “global outlook”.

He added that the funding will support schools which “may not have much experience organising trips abroad, to ensure their pupils don’t miss out on all the fantastic benefits these experiences can bring”.

According to Schools Week, applications for the fund are yet top open, although a Department for Education spokesperson is quoted as saying that finances should be available “in the next couple of months”.

The current funding pot will cover the school year for 2019-2020 and will be reviewed at the next spending review.