22 Jan 2020

Evaluation 2019-2020

avatar Lucy Jenkins

For the year 2019-2020 the project team decided to commission Alcantara Communications to track the cumulative impact of the project on pupils in schools which have been involved in the scheme for three years or more, and on mentors who were involved from the start and/or took part in at least two rounds of mentoring.

We are delighted with the final report and welcome the findings below.

Key findings

  • All schools reported that the project had given their pupils a better understanding of the benefits of language skills for their future lives, and that it had made pupils more enthusiastic in their MFL classes.
  • Most schools also reported that the project had improved take-up for MFL at GCSE, although there are external factors and fluctuations from year to year which lessen this impact.
  • The project has raised the profile of MFL in all but one of the schools and, in the majority of cases, it has also impacted on Senior Leadership Teams’ attitudes towards the subject, although there is more that could be done in this area.
  • Schools cite a wide range of other impacts, including raising pupils’ aspirations to go to university, improved parental attitudes towards MFL, and benefits for pupils’ personal development in terms of confidence and taking responsibility for life-decisions.
  • The impacts of the project build over time and are highly valued by schools, who would like to see it maintained and its reach scaled up.
  • Mentors have gained a wide range of benefits as a result of taking part in the project, including:
    • Acquisition of new skills relevant to future employment
    • Developing their own knowledge and learning
    • Helping them to make decisions about their own career pathways
    • Linking their university experience to the wider society
    • Impacts on their own personal development and confidence
    • Gaining satisfaction at having achieved something worthwhile.
  • They have already been able to apply the skills and learning acquired in a range of new contexts and have benefited from new opportunities which have opened up as a result of participation in the scheme.
  • They express heartfelt appreciation for having been able to take part in the scheme and intense awareness of its benefits for pupils.