1+2 languages policy - local authority survey 2021: findings

Findings of a 2021 survey of local authorities on progress to implement the 1+2 languages policy in schools. The key finding is that nearly all primary and secondary schools now deliver language learning from P1 through to the end of the Broad General Education.

8. Examples of success in implementation

8.1 Collaborative working

We asked local authorities which organisations / institutions they have engaged with to support languages in schools, as we believe collaborative working is an important tool to support both classroom teaching and professional learning.

Types of collaborative working No. %
Working with Regional Improvement Collaboratives 27 90%
Working with Scottish universities 16 53%
Working with European and international universities 11 37%
Working with SCILT / CISS 28 93%
Working with cultural institutes 17 57%
Working with the British Council 18 60%
Working with Education Scotland 28 93%
Have not engaged in any collaborative working 0 0%
Other 12 40%

All local authorities reported engaging in a variety of collaborative activities, maintaining a trend reported by the 2018-19 survey, with partnership working continuing to be considered a key element for supporting implementation.

Almost all local authorities reported that they received support from Education Scotland, Scotland's National Centre for Languages (SCILT) and the Confucius Institute for Scotland's Schools (CISS) on training and upskilling courses for teachers. They also saw their Regional Improvement Collaborative as playing an important role in supporting the exchange of best practice and ideas for teacher training and upskilling.

Just over half of local authorities reported having links with, and receiving support from, university languages departments and cultural institutes, such as the Institut Fran├žais, Goethe-Institut, and Spanish Embassy Education Office. A few also reported that they had made use of international and business links to support language learning in their schools.

8.2 Improved perception of languages

Just over half of local authorities reported on the positive benefits that online platforms had made for language learning in supporting engagement with learners, parents / carers, and staff. The use of online platforms was accelerated in response to the school closures during the Covid-19 pandemic, and almost all local authorities stated they would continue to use them going forward.

In terms of the perception of languages by parents / carers, these same local authorities found that the adoption of engaging and motivating online strategies during the period of remote learning had resulted in greater access for family learning opportunities, which had been positively received.

In the secondary sector, some local authorities reported seeing signs of the positive impact of the 1+2 policy in an improved uptake of learners choosing a languages subject in the Senior Phase.

8.3 Transition between primary and secondary schools

A majority of local authorities reported that schools had adapted their traditional transition models into a fully online or hybrid model to ensure successful progression in language learning for their learners, as well as using online platforms to deliver virtual transition lessons, host parents' evenings, and facilitating staff transition meetings within clusters.

Just under half of local authorities reported a pause in primary to secondary transitions, due to the Covid-19 pandemic and pressure on secondary schools to complete alternative certification models.

A small number of local authorities also reported success in using joint planning, through sharing of plans and levels of expectations, for pupils entering secondary school.



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