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National training centre for languages teachers to launch

07/10/2016 Joanna

The uptake of languages at GCSE and A-Level has declined in recent years. However, there a plans to tackle this, with improved training for teachers in these subjects. 

A new teacher training centre for languages is due to open in Sheffield, and will be formed by private schools in the area. This way, the best talent from across the state and independent sectors can come together to offer the best languages training. 

Student teachers from across the country will be given the opportunity to learn from some of the top languages departments the UK has to offer, which should improve the overall standard of languages education.

Mike Buchanan, chairman of the Headmasters' and Headmistresses' Conference (HMC), said: "This is a truly exciting project which serves to show the many different ways in which government, state schools and the independent sector can use their individual strengths to build a better education system for everyone."

The new modern foreign languages School Centered Initial Teacher Training (SCITT) will be led by state-funded Silverdale School in Sheffield, and is expected to take its first trainees in autumn 2017. 

Peter Hamilton, head of Haberdashers’ Aske’s Boys’ School and chair of HMC’s academic policy committee, said: "Independent schools want to be part of the solution to the critical problems of capacity faced by school language departments across the country. Solutions are urgent because, nationally, language learning remains in steady retreat."

It is hoped that SCITT will offer a new realm of possibility for languages education and improve capabilities across the entire country.

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