National Consortium for Languages Education
IOE – Faculty of Education and Society

Decisionmaker trip to Berlin

In late November 2023, the Goethe-Institut London organised a four-day educational trip to Berlin for decisionmakers in education from the UK. With the aim to strengthen the status of German as a foreign language in the UK by providing an insight into the German educational system, foreign language teaching, as well as German culture, representatives from the educational sector in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland participated in a range of activities. Sir Ian Bauckham CBE who chaired the MFLPR2016 review which informs our work here at the NCLE joined the trip to Berlin, together with Hannah Jack and Matt Boughen from the DfE. Deputy Director of the Goethe-Institut London, Andrea Pfeil, and Director of NCLE, Honorary Professor Bernardette Holmes MBE, accompanied the group and took away valuable insights and impetus for the work of the Goethe-Institut London, and the National Consortium for Languages Education (NCLE) Project which is funded by the DfE.

Highlights of the trip included a discussion at the Foreign Office of the Federal Republic of Germany, insightful visits to different German schools, including a vocational training institute, a visit to the Goethe-Institut Berlin and the Standing Conference of the Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs, and, of course, visits to cultural sites and a concert at the prestigious Berliner Philharmonie. Furthermore, the trip offered a valuable opportunity for cross-regional exchange, inspiring fruitful discussions around MFL teaching in the UK and beyond.

In 2024, two further decisionmaker trips are planned to continuously strengthen and promote German as a foreign language in the UK educational system.

BKD-Entscheiderreise (3) from left to right:
 
Matthew Shanks (Executive Principal and Chief Executive Officer for Education South West), Hannah Jack (Languages Portfolio Lead | EBacc, Languages and RE Team | Humanities, English, Arts and Languages Division (HEALD), DfE England), Jane Kennedy (Director of Teaching School Hub, Inspire Learning Teaching School Hub NW), Nuala O’Neil (Chief Executive Governing Body Association N.I.), Gerard Pitt (Lead for international languages in school curriculum, Welsh Government), Sylvia Georgin (Education Support Officer for languages, Aberdeenshire Council, Northern Alliance), Bernadette Holmes (Director NCLE, University College London), Sir Ian Bauckham CBE (CEO Tenax Schools Trust/OFQUAL Chair), Dr. Ian Collen (Director of NICILT, Senior Lecturer, Director of Initial Teacher Education, Queen’s University Belfast, Northern Ireland Centre for Information on Language Teaching and Research), Matthew Boughen (Policy advisor on EBacc and Modern Language portfolio, DfE England), Jayne Millar (Head of Education Support, Controlled Schools’ Support Council), Pauline Wick (Project Coordinator Gimagine, Goethe-Institut London).
BKD-Entscheiderreise from left to right:

Ronald Rahmig (Headteacher OSZ Kraftfahrzeugtechnik), Gerard Pitt, Andrea Pfeil (Deputy Director, Goethe-Institut London), Matthew Boughen, Dr. Ian Collen, Nuala O’Neil, Bernadette Holmes, Matthew Shanks, Sir Ian Bauckham CBE.

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