Language skills and intercultural understanding widen opportunities for individuals, communities and society.” Professor Li Wei, IoE Director and Dean

The British Council is delighted to be part of the newly established National Consortium for Languages Education (NCLE), led by IOE and partnering with other stakeholders including the Goethe-Institut.

What is NCLE?

Recognising that we need more and better language skills in the UK, the NCLE aims to support high quality language education and to increase uptake of languages qualifications in Key Stage 4 and 5 in English state-funded schools. The consortium recognises and follows the recommendations and principles enshrined in Sir Ian Bauckham’s 2016 Modern Foreign Languages Pedagogy Review.

The NCLE is creating a national network of up to 25 lead hub schools across England. Each lead hub school will deliver training to up to seven partner schools to improve standards of language teaching and learning across the country. 

The programme focuses on French, German and Spanish as they make up over 90 percent of GCSE entries.  In addition to this, it will also increase access to home, heritage, and community languages, signposting to supporting materials and good practice, and working with supplementary schools. 

The NCLE is delivered by the IOE, UCL’s Faculty of Education and Society on behalf of the Department for Education (DfE) and in partnership with the British Council, Goethe-Institut and other stakeholders.  

What are the NCLE aims?

The key aims for the NCLE are to:

• encourage high quality language teaching in schools

• increase languages uptake at GCSE

• support levelling up opportunities for disadvantaged pupils

• address the performance of boys

• better recognise and support the rich diversity of languages in addition to English spoken by one in every five of our pupils.

Within these aims, The German Promotion Project GIMAGINE is set up specifically to raise the profile of studying German, in recognition of the decline in German language learning in recent years.

Language learning in disadvantaged areas is a particular focus with an explicit requirement that at least 25% of partner hub schools must either be within an Education Investment Area or have acknowledged disadvantage levels.

How will NCLE achieve its aims?

25 lead hubs, each comprising up to seven partner schools, will work together to improve standards of language teaching across the country and increase the number of pupils studying languages.

The initial lead school hubs will start their work in September 2023 with further schools being recruited for 2024.

The first phase of the Lead Hub School recruitment is now closed. If you would like to be considered for the second phase of the Lead Hub School recruitment to take place in early 2024, please register your interest