In September 2023, The Skinners' Kent Academy was selected by the Department for Education to oversee one of its Language Hubs. Working in partnership with Dartford Grammar School, the Academy is one of only 19 schools in England to have been chosen.
Under the Language Hub initiative, the Academy will take the lead in promoting language studies amongst students, spanning from Primary school to GCSEs. It will also be aiming to enhance language offerings within schools and ensure that all students aged 14-18 have the opportunity to pursue language studies through to Key Stage 5.
Further information will be shared in due course.
What exactly is the National Consortium for Language Education?
Recognising the value of good language education both to students and to the country, the NCLE is creating a national network of up to 25 lead hub schools across England. Each lead hub school will deliver training to up to seven partner schools to improve standards of language teaching and learning across the country.
The key aims for the NCLE are to:
- encourage high quality language teaching in schools
- increase languages uptake at GCSE
- support levelling up opportunities for disadvantaged pupils
- address the performance of boys
- better recognise and support the rich diversity of languages in addition to English spoken by one in every five of our pupils.
The NCLE is funded by the Department for Education (DfE) and delivered by IOE, UCL’s Faculty of Education and Society (UCL IOE) in partnership with the British Council and the Goethe-Institut.
You can find out more on the NCLE website here.
How does it work?
The first group of hub schools has been selected and The Skinners' Kent Academy is one of them. Having been recognised by the NCLE for the quality of our language teaching, we will be training a small number of partner schools to share best practice, discuss ideas and support quality language learning activities. We’re working on our plans now so watch out for our updates.
Why is the government encouraging language education in schools?
Languages are crucial for work and life in our globally competitive economy. We believe that languages and intercultural awareness can help to foster universal understanding and contribute to building a peaceful and harmonious world future. The Department for Education recognises that, as a country, we need more and better language skills and that these add value and widen opportunities for individuals, communities and society.
What are the benefits for pupils of the NCLE programme?
The ability to speak other languages is an incredibly useful asset for pupils, both professionally and personally. Research shows that there are clear educational, personal, cultural, social and career benefits in being able to communicate confidently in another language.
There is a particular emphasis in the NCLE on delivery high quality language learning to students from disadvantaged areas to support improvements in social mobility.
What is the Goethe-Institut Gimagine project?
The government is especially keen to promote the learning of German, because the numbers studying this important language have fallen in recent years. That’s why the Gothe-Institut is a key partner.
Their GIMAGINE project promotes and supports the learning of German as a foreign language in the UK. The project centres around students, teachers and schools. Apart from offering initiatives for professional advancement to German teachers, the project can fund learning German through scholarships and provides schools with classroom materials and teaching resources.
You can find out more on the Gimagine website