Languages Strategic Implementation Group minutes: February 2017

Minutes of the 11th meeting of the language learning Strategic Implementation Group (SIG), which took place on 23 February 2017.

Attendees and apologies

  • Louise Glen (Co-chair), Senior Education Officer, Education Scotland (ES)
  • Bruce Robertson (Co-chair), Association of Directors of Education (ADES)
  • Gillian Campbell-Thow, Scottish Association for Language Teaching (SALT)
  • Laurence Findlay, Head of Service, (ADES)
  • Graham Hutton, School Leaders Scotland (SLS)
  • Saddah Aziz, National Parent Forum Scotland NPFS (and personal assistant Sohit Dykes)
  • Fhiona Mackay, Scotland’s National Centre for Languages (SCILT)
  • Do Coyle, Scottish Council of Deans of Education (SCDE)
  • Margaret Aitken, University Council of Modern Languages Scotland (UCMLS)
  • Ellen Doherty, General Teaching Council Scotland (GTCS)
  • Sue Langlands, Languages Team, Scottish Government (SG)
  • Toria Fraser, Languages Team (Secretariat), SG

Chair of Meeting: Louise Glen

Items and actions

1. Welcome and apologies

Louise Glen welcomed all members of the Group to the Eleventh Meeting of the SIG Education Group. Margaret Aitken was welcomed to the meeting to represent UCMLS.

Apologies were received from Lauren Bruce of COSLA, Adam Sutcliffe of EIS, Marion Spöring of UCMLS, and Jack Simpson of Leith Academy. No representative was available from The Association of Headteachers and Deputes in Scotland.

2. Approval of previous minutes

The November minutes were approved and are available on the SG website.

3. Matters arising from Minutes and Actions outstanding

The register of completed actions contains the following: document of ES and SCILT responsibilities was shared at the Development Officer Conference on 29 November; Members’ changes to Implementation Plan were received by 25 November; the chairs and SG agreed a finalised Implementation Plan by end December; all members to use messages (from p3 of SIG minute of Nov 2016) to support Local Authority (LA) planning for implementation of second additional language (L3); members to share Group’s messages around the importance of language learning, the enjoyment of language learning and the alternative forms of provision with their stakeholder networks; the 2017 LA survey announced at the Development Officer Conference and the Curriculum Assessment and Qualification ADES Group on 9 December.

As regards the outstanding actions, the Group:

  • acknowledged the importance of early notification of funding; it was noted that SG is to inform LAs of funding distribution for 2017-18 by middle of March. All agreed that messaging should also encourage inter authority partnerships
  • acknowledged the role of primary ITE to ensure achievement of sustained implementation of 1+2 policy. The Group heard from SCILT and SCDE that the analysis of primary Initial Teacher Education content is almost complete. The Group agreed to form a small group to consider this analysis and agree the best way forward
  • received an update on work of SIG engagement from SCILT who are working with Skills Development Scotland to develop messages on benefits and transferability of languages and intercultural skills for use in career guidance. SIG members noted that they are welcome to attend SIG engagement meetings

Action: Formation of a short life working group on primary ITE content to take this work forward.

Action: Secretariat to invite members to attend SIG engagement meetings.

The Group heard from ES regarding exemplification of language learning from primary one to primary four. Education Scotland explained that this work was now underway and in due course will be available on the National Improvement Hub (NIH).

As regards the outstanding action around the development of second additional language (L3) case studies, the Group agreed that case studies provide a useful means to exemplify how 1+2 can fit within the school structure. All agreed that there is a need to develop a more diverse range of examples.

4. Record of actions (RoA) of the Implementation Plan

The Group discussed the practical application of the Implementation Plan which focuses on the four priority areas of Communications & Engagement; Curriculum; Collaboration and Professional Development.

Members are to submit updates in writing in advance of each SIG Education meeting for inclusion in the RoA. The RoA will be maintained by the Secretariat recording SIG member activity in each priority area and its desired impact. The RoA will be used to inform discussion at the SIG Education meetings.

Action: In advance of each SIG meeting members to submit concise written update describing activity by priority area for inclusion in the RoA.

5. Update from SCDE 1+2

The Group received a presentation on the research conducted by SCDE 1+2. This research will lead to a published national ITE framework similar to the Inclusion framework and a tool which identifies what educators need to know. It is focusing on the ITE student experience, learning outcomes and pluriliteracies. The Group heard that there is a meeting planned by SCDE 1+2 to meet the ITE programme directors to seek their agreement as to how they can take this forward. The main issues identified in discussion were the need:

  • for more widespread use of the Common European Framework of Reference which consists of a well-developed system to support language learning
  • to work in partnership with ITE
  • to be part of a national conversation about the profile of the 21st century teacher

6. Secondary sector implementation challenges and solutions

All agreed that this policy will impact upon the secondary sector as well as primary. Furthermore all agreed that it is important to reinforce that this policy represents a great opportunity for education to revive the importance of language learning.

The Group discussed the challenges facing in the secondary sector. All agreed that there is a need to provide support and clear messaging and to work together to find solutions. SLS, ES and SCILT have agreed to meet to discuss development of secondary models.

The meeting heard that the ADES review had seen clear evidence of parental enthusiasm about language learning in primary. It was agreed that a stronger parental voice in secondary would help and that the Group should find ways to support parents to be better informed. SCILT informed the group that they are to set up a short life working group on parental engagement to support schools in their engagement with parents. Also SCILT agreed to support NPFS with creation of a parent information leaflet on 1+2 as part of the ‘In a Nutshell’ series.

The Group agreed that it is very positive that HMI inspection visits are requesting evidence of progression in language learning through primary and entitlement throughout Broad General Education. Also the Group agreed that the development of new innovative courses to recruit teachers who will be able to cover upper primary and secondary Broad General Education would have a positive impact upon the implementation of 1+2.

The Group acknowledged that within the SIG Education Implementation Plan priority of Communication and Engagement, there is a need for a greater focus on the secondary audience. It was accepted that members should challenge perceptions that there is only one way to deliver languages in secondary.

ES explained that clear messages and support around how to plan the effective delivery of 1+2 language policy in the secondary sector will be delivered at the Deputy Head and Principal Teacher events in the summer. These will include building into delivery:

  • flexibility of approach to ensure young people have the opportunity to take up language learning across the six years of secondary
  • emphasis on the importance of progression
  • encouragement to Languages teachers to become involved in discussion on curriculum development
  • adoption of flexible approaches to ensure sufficient ML teaching via for example dual registration of secondary school teachers

Action: SLS to meet with SCILT and ES to discuss the development of secondary models.

Action: SCILT and NPFS to discuss creation of a parent information leaflet.

Action: SCILT to set up a short life working group on parental engagement.

Action: All members to prioritise the secondary audiences when pursuing opportunities for communication and engagement such as: ADES conference in November; ADES Directors’ forum; SLS conference; at the Scottish Learning Festival.

Action: ES with SCILT to investigate using Yammer and Glow as platforms for sharing messaging.

7. Any other business

a. Governance: As regards the way that the work of the SIG education group aligns with the governance of CfE the meeting heard that the structure of CfE Management Board is likely to change in response to the Education Governance Review. As soon as the new structure is agreed the Secretariat will report back to the SIG with detail of how our work sits within this structure.

Action: SG Secretariat to update the Group about how the SIG Education will fit into likely future governance and reporting arrangements.

b. National Training Programme: The meeting heard that SCILT is planning the roll out of a pilot of a national training programme for primary teachers in September with Open University and will discuss with GTCS the accreditation of this programme.

Action: SCILT and GTCS to meet to discuss possible ways of accreditation of the National Training Programme.

c. E Sgoil: The meeting heard that E Sgoil is now offering Gaelic teaching at Hazlehead Academy and through this medium, schools will be able to access a much wider range of subjects as well as teacher training.

d. UCMLS action plan: The meeting heard that UCMLS action plan is to be launched on 10 March and that this plan will be supportive of and complementary to the SIG education implementation plan. Action: UCMLS to launch the action plan with clear complementarity to the SIG implementation plan.

8. Date of next meeting

The next meeting is due to be held on 16 May 2017 in Keep Scotland Beautiful, Stirling from 10.00-13.00.

Curriculum Unit, April 2017.

Strategic Implementation Group minutes - February 2017.pdf


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Phone: 0300 244 4000 – Central Enquiry Unit

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