Language learning in Scotland: a 1 + 2 approach

Report and recommendations from the Languages Working Group on Scotland's language education policy.


1. Delivery of the 1+2 commitment over the lifetime of two Parliaments will require 'buy-in' from and the sustained and co-ordinated efforts of a range of stakeholders, including learners and their teachers and parents. Local authorities and schools will need to consider how they plan for successful introduction of additional language learning, including staffing plans and professional development needs. Schools will need to consider how they make the best use of resources, including how they can best provide their pupils with access to native speakers of other languages. Scottish Government has a role to play in ensuring that there is an engagement strategy in place that co-ordinates the support of all stakeholders including cultural organisations, business and employers.

2. It is proposed therefore that an Implementation Group be set up as soon as possible following the Government's response to the Report and Recommendations. This group should be charged with taking forward both the engagement strategy and overseeing the delivery of the short, medium and long term objectives that will be required for full implementation by 2020. This work should include the regular monitoring of all developments in relation to 1+2 roll-out as well as instructing evaluations of pilots, trialling and all initial stages of implementation. The group should consist of representation from classroom teachers, head teachers, Education Scotland, Scotland's National Centre for Languages, GTCS, SQA, ADES, COSLA, Universities, the Gaelic sector, parent organisations, cultural bodies and the business community with servicing and support from Scottish Government.

Recommendation 34: The Working Group recommends that Scottish Government set up an Implementation Group charged with developing an Engagement Strategy to deliver the 1+2 languages commitment.


3. The Working Group's recommendations include actions which carry significant additional resource implications for Scottish Government, local authorities and other stakeholders, including universities. The Working Group is not in a position to be definitive on the detail of the additional resource required since this will partly depend on an audit of existing resources, including current staff language skills, and the proposed pilot development work. However, the report's recommendations clearly point to a need for additional resource in the areas of teacher CPD for early language learning in primary schools, closer working between primary and secondary schools, a broader range of approaches to language learning in the broad general education phase of the secondary curriculum, collaboration with the university sector, and significant expansion in the use of native and adult speakers of other languages, in particular, the use of Foreign Language Assistants.

4. The Working Group is aware that prior to 2008 local authorities received £4 million by way of ring-fenced funding to support their language provision in schools. While this funding was rolled up into the general local government expenditure settlement and, therefore, is still available to local authorities, the Group is of the view that, if delivery of the 1+2 language policy is to be successful, further dedicated resources will be required. This is likely to be of the order of 2-3 times the previous languages fund, tailored, as resources allow, to enable local authorities to take forward their proposed language strategies on a phased basis from 2013-14 and beyond.

Recommendation 35: The Working Group recommends that Scottish Government fully considers the resource implications for stakeholders supporting the introduction of the 1+2 languages policy and engage with COSLA to consider the case for making dedicated appropriate additional funding available to local authorities.


Email: Pam Semple

Phone: 0300 244 4000 – Central Enquiry Unit

The Scottish Government
St Andrew's House
Regent Road

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