Advice and guidance for secondary language heads of department
This page is aimed at secondary languages heads of department or those with responsibility for an individual language within their school. The information on this page will support your own knowledge and practice. It also aims to support you to develop the colleagues in your department.
Programmes of Study and Assessment Guidance
Key Stage 3
- Subject content, aims and learning objectives for modern foreign language GCSEs for teaching from 2016
- GCSE (9 to 1) subject-level conditions and requirements for modern foreign languages
AS and A Level
- Subject content for modern foreign language AS and A levels for teaching in schools from 2016
- AS and A Level Subject Criteria for Modern Foreign Languages (MFL)
Lesser taught languages
- Subject content for modern foreign language (smaller cohorts) AS and A levels for teaching in schools from 2018
Information to inform curriculum planning
Ofsted's Key Stage 3 - the wasted years?
Implementing the English Baccalaureate (EBacc)
The EBacc comprises the core academic subjects that the vast majority of young people should have the opportunity to study to age 16. To enter the EBacc, pupils must take up to eight GCSEs across five subject ‘pillars’.
Teaching Schools Council Modern Languages Pedagogy Review
- Read A review of modern foreign languages teaching practice in Key Stage 3 and 4 (published by the Teaching Schools Council 2016)
- Read a follow-up piece What is the future for languages? by Ian Bauckham, leader of the TSC review of MFL pedagogy here.
Language Trends Survey
The Language Trends Survey is an annual survey of the state of languages in primary and secondary schools in England. In 2016/17 there was an additional survey relating to Wales.
Teacher and ITT mentor standards
Teacher's Standards (DfE)
- Teachers’ Standards Guidance for school leaders, school staff and governing bodies
July 2011(introduction updated June 2013)
- Teachers' Standards
- Teachers' Standards - How should they be used?
National Standards for school-based initial teacher training (ITT) mentors
A key recommendation in the 2015 Carter Review was for a set of national standards to be developed to help bring greater coherence and consistency to the school-based mentoring arrangements for trainee teachers. The Carter Review was clear that mentoring should have greater status and recognition, within schools and within the ITT system as a whole, and that the qualities of effective mentors should be better understood across the system.
In response to Carter’s recommendation, the Government commissioned the Teaching Schools Council to develop standards for school-based ITT mentors, with the key aim of helping to promote the importance of the role and create a better shared understanding of the characteristics of effective mentoring across the ITT sector. Read the standards here.