Publication - Minutes

Languages Strategic Implementation Group minutes: May 2019

Published: 28 Oct 2019
Date of meeting: 23 May 2019
Date of next meeting: 12 Sep 2019
Location: Verity House, COSLA

Minutes from the 19th meeting of the Languages Strategic Implementation Group (SIG), held on 23 May 2019.

Published:
28 Oct 2019
Languages Strategic Implementation Group minutes: May 2019

Attendees and apologies

Attendees

  • Laurence Findlay, ADES (Chair)
  • Louise Glen, Education Scotland (Chair)
  • Barbara Morton, Scottish Government
  • Bethan Owen, LANGS
  • Clare Mouat, National Parent Forum Scotland
  • Fhiona Mackay, SCILT/CISS
  • Francisco Valdera-Gil, SCDE Modern Languages Group
  • Louise Whyte, SALT
  • Robert Quinn, SQA
  • Eddie Follan, COSLA
  • Sonia Kordiak, EIS
  • Suzanne Marshall, College Development Network

Secretariat

  • Helene Cornu, Scottish Government
  • Susan Waugh, Scottish Government
  • Apologies
  • Graham Hutton, School Leaders Scotland
  • Ellen Docherty, GTCS
  • Joe Carson, UCMLS

Welcome

  • Louise Whyte, SALT
  • Sonia Kordiak, EIS
  • Suzanne Marshall, College Development Network

Items and actions

Welcome and apologies

Louise Glen and Laurence Findlay welcomed everyone to the meeting.

Items and actions

Approval of minutes from previous meeting

Laurence Findlay informed the group that the AHDS conference on 31 May had been cancelled due to low uptake. The hope was to reschedule at a later date, with focus on 1+2 and STEM as vehicles for transition. There was a discussion about the on-going need to make sure that there was continuity in language learning across primary and secondary schools for the L2 in particular. It was noted that good relationships and shared professional development activities across school clusters were important for successful transitions in terms of language learning.

The minutes of the 18th meeting of the Languages Strategic Implementation Group, held on 24 January 2019, were approved as accurate.

Matters arising from minutes and actions

The status of actions complete and on-going is provided in Annex A.

Record of actions

There was a discussion about the record of actions and members provided the following updates:

  • LANGS: The previous LANGS focus group meeting had considered English as an Additional Language and British Sign Language (BSL). BSL was on the agenda for the next LANGS network meeting on 31 May.
  • SALT: It was expected that the next SALT conference would focus on partnership action to support 1+2. A call for proposals would issue on 30 May, closing 30 June and SALT would share details with LANGS on 31 May. The format of workshops would promote discussion and sharing of good practice. The speakers would be announced in September and a copy of proposals would be available.
  • SCILT: Fhiona Mackay provided an update on the SCILT/Open University course for primary teachers, which was now in its second year and aimed at primary teachers teaching towards the end of 2nd level of the BGE. Fifty teachers took part in the first year, and 120 were taking part in the second year. Drop-out rates were low. The professional learning menu would be issued the week after the SIG meeting with webinars to watch live or later added to the Modern Languages GLOW website. Teachers with experience of language learning could start directly in the 2nd year but they had to do both the language and pedagogy elements. The Deputy First Minister had attended Bannockburn Primary School, which was taking part in the programme, and had been very impressed with the way that the teachers were embedding language learning into the P1 and P2 curriculum in the school. Fhiona Mackay also provided an update on the Amazing Spaces project, which demonstrated how language could be combined with other subjects in interdisciplinary learning. SCILT was planning to build on the success of the initial project, which had linked technology and architecture to language learning, by facilitating other partnerships and interdisciplinary learning projects and activities in schools.
  • NPFS: Claire Mouat said that the NPFS was gathering examples of good practice in family learning. One of the SCILT Professional Learning Partnerships was focussing on family learning and parental engagement, involving Save the Children. SCILT had developed new case studies on parental engagement and would be developing a parental engagement toolkit in the coming year.
  • SCDE: Francisco Valdera-Gil said that the SCDE languages group was sharing its language learning framework with local authorities, and a meeting was planned with SCILT.
  • CDN: A college languages exposition was held in June at Perth College, along with a series of workshops/demonstrations including on LinguaChef. Colleges tended to deliver language learning as part of other courses or trips and exchanges.
  • Education Scotland: The Scottish Education Awards had highlighted some excellent examples of practice. The languages related award had been changed to “1+2 and Internationalism” and was part sponsored by British Council Scotland. New resources clarifying progression to support primary teachers (including the differences between 1st and 2nd levels) had been developed. Resources on progression from 2nd to 3rd and 3rd to 4th levels would be created during 2019-20. Education Scotland had also worked with practitioners to create a new “live narrative” for secondary teachers on the languages benchmarks.
  • SQA: The last part of work in revising National Qualifications was now complete. There were no substantive changes to the languages qualifications. Practitioners should be encouraged to check the course report for the new Higher for advice about the course. The SQA’s programme of understanding standards in autumn would include events on the Advanced Higher. Webinar and audio events had been completed. SCILT were planning to look at ways of supporting teachers with the Advanced Higher and would discuss this with the SQA before staring work. New SQA awards for British Sign language, piloted by St Roch’s and Dingwall, were on track to be delivered. The first BSL advisory group was to be held on 30 May.
  • EIS: Queried whether languages could be taught by non-GTCS registered teachers, such as native speakers or language assistants. It was explained that the GTCS registered teacher would always be present in the classroom and that people with expertise in the language, such as native speakers, would be brought in to enrich and enhance the learning experience of pupils and to help teachers develop their own skills.

Action: Bethan Owen to provide information to the Scottish Government about the tasks involved in co-ordinating Scotland Loves Languages.

Action: Francisco Valdera-Gil to work with Bethan to ensure the SCDE languages group was appropriately involved in the South-East RIC research into language learning.

Action: Francisco Valdera-Gil to share with SIG papers from meetings with local authorities and SCILT about the languages framework.

Action: ADES, Scottish Government and Education Scotland to keep SIG updated on progress with the RICs as appropriate.

Action: All to update the record of actions in advance of the next SIG meeting.

SIG engagement meetings

SCILT had taken over the chairing of the group, which was a sub-group of SIG and is a wide network of business, academia, parents, employers and community languages interests. SCILT had changed the format of the group to focus it on an Erasmus+ funded project that was looking at ways of developing multilingualism and intercultural skills for dual-competency workforces. The other partners were in Denmark and Norway. The focus of the coming year was on employability and developing a toolkit filming case studies of partners, businesses and a range of employers. The project would be formally launched in October at the new Ramshorn Building. The focus next year would be on career advisors.

Future meetings of the network were planned for September, and then January/February. It was agreed that the meetings could be useful for spreading participation in Scotland Loves Languages Week.

Action: Claire Mouat to let SIG members know about the dates of the meetings and Laurence Findlay to consider ADES attendance.

Survey 2018-2019

Louise Glen presented the preliminary results from the survey and a copy of her presentation is attached with these minutes. In discussion the following points were raised:

  • Language learning in the classroom in all schools would always be led by a GTCS registered teacher, sometimes in partnership with a native speaker or other partners. The survey provided more information on the models of delivering language learning in schools.
  • The survey again indicated that schools were tending to consolidate learning of the L2 before looking to fully embed an L3.
  • It would be helpful if the survey could provide details of the numbers of pupils participating in language learning as well as numbers of schools.
  • Schools and local authorities were still citing competing priorities as one of the main reasons why the entitlements under the policy were not being met. Timetabling was also cited in a secondary context. Staff shortages were felt to be a challenge.
  • The survey provided positive evidence that schools and almost all local authorities said they had plans in place to ensure there were good transitions in place between language learning in primary and secondary schools.
  • The survey provided evidence of increased collaboration between schools and authorities, and use being made of the RICs and GLOW to share resources and good practice.
  • There was a discussion about what the entitlements meant in practice in secondary schools, and whether it was possible to determine if the secondary schools that were not delivering the full entitlement were in clusters where the primary schools were also not fully delivering the commitments. The survey did not provide information to be able to link provision together at this level of detail, but a fuller analysis would provide more information about the models of provision in secondary school. While not all secondary schools surveyed had said that the full entitlement to an L2 was being delivered from S1 to S3, all secondary schools had some language provision. Louise Glen confirmed that the Education Scotland inspectors would look at the languages entitlements when visiting schools in the same way that they would look at the provision of all eight curricular areas in the Broad General Education.
  • There would be some further analysis of the survey, with the results being brought to SIG prior to being communicated to the Scottish Parliament’s Culture, Tourism, Europe and External Affairs Committee. The Committee would be informed of the preliminary results that were presented to SIG.

Action: Secretariat to share their short paper on the survey results with SIG.
Action: Laurence Findlay to share the survey results with ADES for awareness.
Action: ADES, COSLA and the Scottish Government to discuss further about how to gather pupil numbers per language in future surveys.

L3 in secondary schools

Education Scotland were drafting revised guidance for schools and local authorities on delivery of the L3 in secondary schools. This would provide further practical support to schools to help them deliver a meaningful L3 experience whilst not detracting from the L2, and would emphasise that schools could take a flexible approach to delivering the L3.

Action: Education Scotland to work with LANGS and SALT to communicate the new guidance on L3 provision.

Any other business and date of next meeting

There was no other business and the next meeting would take place on 12 September 2019 at Endeavour House, Dundee. Fhiona Mackay offered to host the January 2020 meeting at the new Ramshorn building with the date to be determined.

Languages Strategic Implementation Group Education: Summary of actions

Previous meetings: Actions Complete

No. Action Responsible Due date Progress status
1 Secretariat to keep SIG Education members updated on LA survey process and results

Helene Cornu

Barbara Morton

23 May 2019 Completed: On the agenda for the meeting on 23 May
2 Bethan Owen to liaise with Scottish Government about communications during Scotland Loves Languages week Bethan Owen 31 Mar 2019 Completed: The February 2019 pilot had been successful. The language focus should broaden in 2020 with some Local Authorities adopting “Scotland Loves Languages” as a general social media handle throughout the year. A new mission strapline was to be announced at LANGS on 31 May

Previous meetings: Actions Ongoing and underway

No. Action Responsible Due date Progress status
1 All to update the record of actions in advance of the next SIG meeting All 12 Sep 2019 Ongoing
2 Relevant SIG members to keep the group updated on progress with the Regional Improvement Collaboratives

Chairs

Eddie Follan

Helene Cornu

Barbara Morton

Ongoing Ongoing: It was noted that the RICs were at varying stages of development and that not all the RICs seemed to have a single languages contact.
3 Co-chairs to write to directors on the policy intention on language learning in the BGE and senior phase. Chairs Ongoing Ongoing
4 SIG members to agree a new programme of engagement with secondary schools, which will include amongst other things a focus on entitlement to end S3 All Ongoing SIG Chairs are planning a series of secondary BGE events to discuss the position in local authorities as provided in the survey, respond to local and regional needs and ensure the aim of the policy are well-communicated
5 UCMLS to look into what engagement and outreach there is currently between schools, local authorities and universities and to share this at future SIG meeting Joe Carson 12 Sep 2019 Ongoing
6 Edinburgh City Council and Moray House to share their research into learning and teaching in the classroom with SIG Bethan Owen 12 Sep 2019 Ongoing: It was noted that a short-life working group would meet to progress the research including the South East RIC, SCILT, Moray House and Education Scotland. There would be a presentation at the Scottish Learning Festival in September. Update to be provided at the September SIG meeting
7 Secretariat to contact AHDS to investigate getting tickets for SIG members for the forthcoming conference on primary/secondary transition Helene Cornu Barbara Morton Ongoing Ongoing: Laurence Findlay noted that the planned AHDS conference on transitions between primary and secondary schools had been postponed

Meeting 19 (23 May 2019)

No. Action Responsible Due date Progress status
1 Bethan Owen to provide information to the Scottish Government about the tasks involved in co-ordinating Scotland Loves Languages Bethan Owen 12 Sep 2019 Ongoing
2 Francisco Valdera-Gil to work with Bethan to ensure the SCDE languages group was appropriately involved in the South-East RIC research into language learning Francisco Valdera-Gil 12 Sept 2019 Ongoing
3 Francisco Valdera-Gil to share papers from meetings with local authorities and SCILT about the languages framework with SIG Francisco Valdera-Gil 12 Sept 2019 Ongoing
4 Claire Mouat to let SIG members know about the dates of the SIG Engagement meetings and Laurence Findlay to consider ADES attendance

Claire Mouat

Laurence Findlay

12 Sept 2019 Ongoing
5 Secretariat to share their short paper on the survey results with SIG

Helene Cornu

Barbara Morton

31 May 2019 Shared with these minutes
6 Laurence Findlay to share the survey results with ADES for awareness Laurence Findlay 31 May 2019  
7 ADES, COSLA and the Scottish Government to discuss further about how to gather pupil numbers per language in future surveys

Chairs

Eddie Follan

Helene Cornu

Barbara Morton

31 Dec 2019 Ongoing: To be considered as part of designing the survey in 2019 for 2020
8 Education Scotland to work with LANGS and SALT to communicate the new guidance on L3 provision Louise Glen