Huw Lewis, Minister for Education and Skills
In June, I announced a new approach to supporting modern foreign languages through ‘Global futures, a plan to improve and promote modern foreign languages in Wales’.
Today, I am publishing the Global futures plan itself. This Plan has been developed in partnership with key stakeholders so that we collectively work together to achieve our vision that all learners in Wales become global citizens, able to communicate effectively in other languages and to appreciate other cultures.
I have already been clear that our long-term strategy is to support our learners to become ‘Bilingual plus 1’, through studying English, Welsh and at least one modern foreign language to examination level. The actions within the plan will also link in with the development of the new curriculum in Wales, particularly the Area of Learning and Experience for Language, Literacy and Communication and the four purposes of the curriculum, which shall be to cultivate children who are:
- Ambitious, capable learners, ready to learn throughout their lives;
- Enterprising, creative contributors, ready to play a full part in life and work;
- Ethical, informed citizens of Wales and the world; and
- Healthy, confident individuals, ready to lead fulfilling lives as valued members of society.
The plan, spanning the next five years, underpins Qualified for Life - our education improvement plan for 3 to 19 year olds in Wales and sets out our strategic actions. The Welsh Government and the regional education consortia will work with our key partners to take forward the plan, working in exciting and innovative ways, forging new partnerships.
Progress is already being made against the Global Futures plan. Since my announcement in June, we have had the German Teacher of the Year awards in Cardiff for the very first time. Not only that but a teacher from Wales won German Teacher of the Year and two teachers received certificates of commendation – a testament to the hard work of modern foreign language teachers in Wales.
I am determined to ensure we build capacity and support for the professional development of the education workforce to deliver modern foreign languages effectively from year 5 onwards. I want to enable all learners to benefit from the bilingual plus 1 strategy via the New Deal for the education workforce, review of ITET and pioneer schools network.
The regional education consortia have now established their school ‘centres of excellence’ that will be delivering school-to-school support to partner secondary schools and their feeder primary schools. They will achieve this through drawing on their own practices and experiences and also through drawing on others and organisations such as the language institutes.
I would like to thank the members of the Global Futures steering group, who have been working hard in developing the plan and in supporting its delivery. The group has met three times already since June and has made real progress in driving forward our vision. We will continue to work with our partners over the next five years and beyond to support our learners to become truly global citizens.
The Global Futures plan and details of the school ‘centres of excellence’ can be accessed on the Welsh Government website.