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Languages: Education

Question for Department for Education

UIN HL13380, tabled on 22 February 2021

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of (1) the effectiveness, and (2) the impact of, Modern Foreign Language Hubs; and if no such assessment has been made, (a) whether they plan to conduct such an assessment, and (b) if so, when.

Answered on

9 March 2021

The National Centre for Excellence for Language Pedagogy (NCELP) programme was established with its main aims being to provide support to secondary schools to improve languages teaching at Key Stages 3 and 4, and to align modern foreign language (MFL) teaching with the recommendations of the Teaching Schools Council’s 2016 MFL Pedagogy Review. This was done so that in pilot schools more pupils will take up GCSEs in MFLs, and schools are enabled to achieve sustainable numbers and group sizes. Key performance indicators (KPIs) were agreed between NCELP and the department which link to these objectives.

As a consequence of school closures over the last year, and NCELP diverting much of its resource to assist the Oak National Academy by developing and recording Key Stage 3 lessons in French, German and Spanish, we have deferred our assessment of performance against KPIs until after December 2021. However, the information gathered to date shows that:

  • 92.6% of all teachers taking part in the pilot reported in September 2020 that they were confident in delivering the MFL pedagogical approach as described in the 2016 MFL Pedagogy Review produced by the Teaching Schools Council; and
  • Uptake of MFL GCSEs in the participating schools has increased by 8.2 percentage points between 2018 and 2020.

In the meantime, NCELP is on course to have completed work developing online resources for teaching and testing in French, German and Spanish in Key Stage 3 by December 2021, which are available free of charge for all MFL teachers at: