Wandsworth Languages Teacher Named 'Brightest and Best'

Amid call-out for more modern foreign language teachers in London

Neil Dhanda who teaches French and Spanish at Saint Cecilia’s School, is currently starring in the Training & Development Agency for Schools (TDA) national adverts after he was picked as Wandsworth’s brightest and best teaching talent.

At this year’s Train To Teach recruitment event in London last weekend, the Training & Development Agency for Schools (TDA) continued the search to meet the modern foreign languages teacher training recruitment target of 1,575.

With six months remaining in the recruitment cycle, there have been 940 enquiries into teaching French, Spanish and German from Londoners, this equates to a third of all enquiries across the country – the highest in any region.

On a national level, the number of enquiries about teaching these subjects is already close to last year’s overall figure - 2794 to date compared to 2890 in 2010/11. What’s more, ten per cent of all enquiries into teaching so far this year have been about these subjects.

However, despite what looks to be a bumper year for enquiries into teaching languages, the growing interest amongst pupils means even more quality teachers are urgently needed.

The new English Baccalaureate is having an immediate impact – hugely increasing the proportion of pupils taking the core academic subjects most valued by universities and employers.

In 2011, 307,386 pupils took a GCSE in a foreign language, compared to 348,191 in 2010 and 553,566 in 2002. French and German suffered the biggest falls (both 13 per cent) in entries of all subjects from 2010 to 2011.

From September 2011, 52 per cent of pupils taking GCSEs in 2013 will be doing a language – an increase of 22 per cent in the numbers of pupils studying a language GCSE.

The TDA is attributing the rise in interest to the new bursary of up to £20k which is available for high-flying modern language graduates entering teacher training.

Stephen Hillier, Chief Executive of the TDA, said, “For too long now the UK has lagged behind the rest of Europe in Modern Foreign Languages. With a renewed focus on engaging young people in languages from the government, we need the kind of high-flying teachers who are going to help those pupils excel. With financial incentives and opportunities for progression, there’s never been a better time to get into teaching”.


March 19, 2012