International Education Week 2016: Make Time for Languages


14th-18th November marks the British Council’s International Education Week and the theme for 2016 is #MakeTime4Languages.

Across the country, language teachers face challenges in engaging young people in language learning and in studying for foreign language qualifications. Primary schools in England are grappling with the new requirement to teach languages at Key Stage 2. At the same time, whilst the number of young people studying foreign languages at GCSE has stabilised in recent years, language A-Level entries continue to decline. For pupils who do not grow up in bilingual households, school is the key site for intervention on languages.

However the importance of languages is often not recognised by children at the young age where they will most easily be able to learn languages so as part of the Inspiring the Future and Primary Futures programmes, we run a campaign called Inspiring Languages which encourages our volunteers to go into schools to talk about the importance of languages. This can range from inviting volunteers to talk in a classroom, assembly or to help judge a language contest!

3,500 of our Inspiring the Future volunteers have made themselves available to speak to young people about all the wonderful reasons having even a basic proficiency of a second language is so useful. The languages they are equipped to speak about include French, German, Spanish, Arabic, Italian, Mandarin, Japanese, Urdu, and many more. With so many volunteers eager to help why not log in to your account and invite a working professional to broaden your pupils’ horizons.

To log in to your Inspiring the Future account to invite a volunteer to talk about the importance of languages, go to our website here

You can read more about Inspiring Languages on our website

To find out more about International Education week and to download free resources, click here



By Steve Iredale

Primary Futures commended by Prime Minister

It’s always good to have the ongoing success and growing impact of our NAHT/Education and Employers charity ‘Primary Futures project’ recognised and endorsed by senior figures from all walks of life. This support is important as we seek to build on the number of schools registered and actively using the volunteer database and as we look to increase the current 32,000 volunteers!

A recent letter sent by Kim Johnson, NAHT National President, to the Prime Minister received an encouraging response with some of the content reproduced below …………..

‘I was pleased to read about the work that Primary Futures is doing and would like to commend all those involved for the work they are doing to make it a success. It is important for children to see the relationship about what they are learning in school and the world of work they will enter after it. Children who understand the possibilities that academic achievement can open up for them are far more likely to be motivated to achieve.

The chance to meet people working in a range of different jobs and industries is particularly important for children from disadvantaged backgrounds who may have few successful role models of their own, either at home or in their communities. The more we can broaden the aspirations of these pupils, the better’.

As we begin our planning for 2017 we look forward very much to welcoming the Prime Minister and other senior figures joining us for one of our Primary Futures events around the country to see the impact first hand. We look forward to their ongoing support!

Find out more about us on our website



By Steve Iredale