Languages Strategic Implementation Group minutes: October 2017

Minutes of the 14th meeting of the language learning Strategic Implementation Group (SIG), which took place on 26 October 2017.

Attendees and apologies

Chair of Meeting

  • Louise Glen


  • Louise Glen, Education Scotland (ES); Co-Chair
  • Laurence Findlay, Association of Directors of Education (ADES) Heads of Service; Co-Chair
  • Do Coyle, Scottish Council of Deans of Education (SCDE)
  • Marion Spöring, Chair University of Modern Languages Scotland (UCMLS)
  • Bethan Owen, Chair of the Languages Network Group Scotland (LANGs)
  • Louise Whyte, Scotland’s National Centre for Languages (SCILT)
  • Susan Quinn, Educational Institute for Scotland (EIS)
  • Gillian Campbell-Thow, Scottish Association for Language Teaching (SALT)
  • Toria Fraser, Scottish Government (SG), Languages Team (Secretariat)
  • Susan Waugh SG, Languages Team

Items and actions

1. Welcome and apologies

Louise Glen welcomed all the members of the Group to the 14th meeting of the SIG Education Group, in particular Susan Quinn representing EIS and Louise Whyte from SCILT.

Apologies were received from Jack Simpson, Head Teacher representative; Adam Sutcliffe, (EIS); Graham Hutton, School Leaders Scotland; Fhiona Mackay, SCILT; Ellen Doherty, General Teaching Council Scotland (GTCS); Barbara Morton, SG Curriculum Unit and Malcolm Pentland, SG Curriculum Unit.

No representative was available from the Association of Headteachers and Deputes in Scotland. Lauren Bruce of COSLA has indicated that they will not attend the meetings at this time but will continue to receive updates from the ADES Co-Chair and can become involved in discussion as appropriate.

2. Approval of minutes

The August 2017 minutes were approved and are available on the Scottish Government website.

3. Matters arising from minutes and actions outstanding.

The register of actions which are completed or underway contains the following:

  • ES to publish additional guidance for L3: This action is now completed; the guidance is now online here The meeting heard that to allow flexibility it is now acceptable to provide L3 as blocks of language in the classroom as long as the blocks of learning are progressive and intensive.

  • Regional Improvement Collaboratives (RICs) SG Secretariat to update the meeting with further information on the shape and role of RICs for discussion: The shape and role of the RICs is still in discussion. It was agreed that in this instance it would be helpful to receive an update from the SG secretariat at the next SIG. This will provide an opportunity for the members to discuss how best to collaborate with the RICs to ensure sustainable implementation of 1+2 language policy.

  • Preparation of the LA Survey and consultation with the Chair of LANGS: The 2018 survey of Local Authorities (LA) is currently being drafted and will be issued before the end of the year with the return date of mid-March 2018. The chair of LANGS has been consulted in drafting the questions. The Survey will ask broadly the same questions as last year however it will be on a different web platform to make completion of the survey and analysis easier.

  • Aspect review: The letter to ES has been sent and discussion is ongoing about the value of having a review. The SIG Secretariat will update the Group on progress.

  • Regional Secondary events: Education Scotland is currently preparing a FAQ document which will be published shortly.

  • LANGS Chair to update the next SIG on its evolving thinking: The themes of partnership, heritage languages and digital tools have been chosen for the next three meetings. A mission statement will be drafted to make the Group more cohesive and collaborative with a strategic vision to support the growth of school language learning in Scotland. The LANGS focus group membership will change to reflect the changing context in Scotland (with addition of RICs) and different themes. A discussion will also be tabled to ensure that LANGS and SALT complement each other’s work.

  • SIG Secretariat to write to SQA to invite them to discuss with SIG future developments in provision of qualifications to account for diversity of languages spoken: The Group heard that a letter was shortly to be written to SQA, following advice received from National Qualifications team. The letter would invite SQA to discuss with SIG the future needs for national qualifications as 1+2 language policy embeds.

  • SIG Education link to wider Education Governance: the Group heard from SG Secretariat that it has been agreed SIG Education should have a link with the wider education governance, where there is a clear purpose for this communication. The decision about the choice of Board would depend upon the topic, with matters relating to teacher education being sent to the Strategic Board of Teacher Education. The Secretariat will update the Group at the next meeting as the shape of the future governance structure evolves.

  • SIG Secretariat to provide an update on the BSL national plan and the relevant actions: The meeting heard that the First National Plan was published on 24 October 2017. It is set out under ten long-term goals for BSL in Scotland under which it describes 70 actions for the public bodies that the Scottish Government have responsibility for. There are two actions under the School Education goal that are specific to 1+2. These set out a commitment to ensure local authorities and schools are aware that BSL can be offered as a L3 to hearing pupils, and to identifying and sharing examples of good practice in BSL teaching to hearing pupils. An interim report will be prepared and submitted to Ministers in October 2020 which fits neatly with the 2021 1+2 implementation deadline. .

Action: SG secretariat to keep SIG Education members updated on LA survey process and results.

Action: ES to update SIG Education when the FAQs are published.

4. Presentation on the National Teacher Education Framework for Languages and Pluriliteracies: Professor Do Coyle: SCDE Languages Group

It was an action from the last meeting that SCDE representative would give a presentation on the framework.

The SCDE Languages Group received funding from seven LAs to develop a National Framework for Languages Education for Initial Teacher Education linked to the GTCS standards of registration and drawing on the National Framework for Inclusion. The Framework (see attached) is applicable not only to ITE but can also be used as guidance for early career and CLPL. Its goals are to provide guidance for ITE programmes linked to 1+2 and, along with two other resources, to provide further guidance for professional language education teacher development. It consists of three parts: National Framework; a flexible example of a languages education portfolio for student teachers (and beyond) i.e. Language Education Academic Portfolio (LEAP); and a digital resource entitled Language Education National Support (LENS). LENS provides online access to key studies and reports on languages education drawing on a national and international context. It can be accessed at different levels of detail depending on need. This toolkit is aligned with 1+2 language policy and aims to enable teachers to work with languages in a holistic sense encompassing inter-cultural learning and global citizenship. It is currently being piloted.

Action: SCDE Languages Group to update the Group about the promotion of the tools, engagement with the Teacher Education Institutes, universities, LA and others, adoption of the toolkit and creation of the website.

5. Any other business

a. Teacher Education short life working group – 26 Oct: The ADES Chair provided an overview of the teacher education short life working group which met on the morning of 26 October. The group discussed opportunities to work in partnership with ITE with regard to agreeing expectations of the language competence of the probationer teacher at the start of their teaching career. The meeting heard that there was also discussion about opportunities to provide teachers with CLPL. All of this in the context of what is reasonable to expect of teachers in recognition of their workloads.

The August minute describes the Group’s agreement that ITE and CLPL are complementary and connected. The meeting agreed that opportunities for training should be provided throughout a teacher’s career with a suite of options to suit their individual needs.

b. SIG Engagement: The meeting heard that the next meeting is to be arranged for January 2018 and that in order to facilitate this network’s continued expansion it would have one workstream around Developing the Young Workforce and employer engagement and a second around parental and community engagement.

6. Date of next meeting

The next meeting will take place on 18 January in Victoria Quay 10:30 – 12:30.


Email: Central Enquiries Unit

Phone: 0300 244 4000 – Central Enquiry Unit

The Scottish Government
St Andrew's House
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