HC Deb 29 November 2000 vol 357 cc651-2W
Mr. Nigel Jones

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what assessment he has made of the report of the Nuffield Language Inquiry; and if he will make a statement. [139285]

Jacqui Smith

We recognise the importance of the Nuffield Languages Inquiry's research, and will be producing a clear statement of response in the new year which takes account of Nuffield's main recommendations, and highlights the positive languages policies already in place. We are already doing a great deal to promote learning in this field, for example by expanding our numbers of Specialist Language Colleges and offering attractive incentives to teacher trainees. The statement will reinforce our commitment to broadening opportunities and will point to where there will be scope for development. Our Languages National Training Organisation has already indicated its readiness to participate in vocational language learning initiatives. Additionally we are working with our key partners to promote the programme of events for next year's European Year of Languages. We have recently broached these matters in discussions with our Nuffield colleagues and in formulating our statement we will be working in consultation with them.