A "revolution" in our schools

Introduction of language learning in local primary schools.

Primary schools in Hammersmith and Fulham will be taking the first steps towards what the DfES calls a "revolution in language learning" as 7- 11 year olds will have now the opportunity to learn a foreign language.

Nineteen Local Education Authorities (LEAs) have been selected to take part in pilot projects and develop strategies that will: introduce language learning for seven to eleven year olds; share good practice both within and outside their LEA; share resources such as experienced staff and specialist equipment; foster professional development; and develop local, regional, national and international partnerships.

Education Minister, Catherine Ashton, said:
"In the past, children have not started to learn languages until secondary school, when for many children it is too late. This has meant that only 39% of fifteen year old pupils taking a foreign language in 2002 achieved grades A* -C , whilst only 11% of 16-18 year olds chose to take a language A level in 2002 and only 2% of undergraduates were studying a language in 2001/02. We want to make sure that children are excited by languages by the time they get to secondary school so they have a real choice to take their studies further."

The pilot schemes will be expected to find ways to introduce foreign language teaching, swapping ideas and building networks which will contribute to a national roll-out.

The nineteen LEA areas are: Barking & Dagenham; Birmingham; Brighton & Hove; Bury; Coventry; East Riding; Enfield; Hammersmith & Fulham; Hampshire; Kent; Knowsley; Liverpool; Norfolk; North Tyneside; Nottinghamshire; Oldham; Richmond upon Thames, Sheffield and Lancashire. Some of these LEAs will be working together as joint projects.

Department of Education and Skills Web site

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