Evaluation of the Languages Support Programme in Teaching Schools

Caroline Filmer-Sankey, Pauline Wade, Marian Sainsbury, David Sims, Sally Butler, Geraldine Lodge-Moal

17 May 2013

Languages education in England faces a major challenge to raise the status of languages in the school curriculum and improve young people’s foreign language proficiency. The Languages Support Programme was delivered by the CfBT Education Trust on behalf of the Department for Education from January 2012 to March 2013. CfBT worked with 34 Teaching Schools and over 300 primary, secondary and special schools in these Teaching School Alliances (TSAs) to deliver the programme. CfBT commissioned NFER to undertake an evaluation of the implementation and the impacts of the programme. Undertaken between February and April 2013, the evaluation comprised a desk study of programme documentation; a programme of eight case studies of a variety of TSAs participating in the programme; and questionnaire surveys of participants (76 primary teachers and 71 secondary teachers) and non-participating teachers (153 primary teachers and 244 secondary teachers).

Key Findings

  • providing mentoring and support to primary and secondary Teaching Schools and their Alliances
  • providing support to improve the confidence and language proficiency of languages teachers at Key Stage 2
  • enabling increased liaison between primary and secondary schools, including an improved understanding of transfer and transition issues between Key Stage 2 and Key Stage 3
  • encouraging innovative ways of increasing use of the target language and making languages learning more exciting and relevant for pupils.
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