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
Education Minister, Catherine Ashton,
"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
of Education and Skills Web site