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European Indicators Project

Volume 464: debated on Tuesday 9 October 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families (1) what steps his Department is taking to ensure full participation in the European Indicators Project by official bodies and UK assessment organisations; (154220)

(2) what steps the Government are taking to ensure that the work under way in the UK in relation to language and social inclusion through the Asset languages programme and UK Languages Ladder initiative (a) is better known across the European Union and (b) is taken into consideration as arrangements are made to operationalise the European Indicators Project as agreed by the Council of Ministers in Barcelona (2002).

The European Indicators Project is going through a competitive tender process, and any official body or UK assessment organisation could have submitted a bid on their own or as part of a consortium. We would expect that whoever wins the tender would work with appropriate organisations with relevant expertise as they develop the project.

The Languages Ladder/Asset languages scheme offers assessment in 25 languages, including a wide range of community languages. The Languages Ladder levels have been mapped against the Common European Framework.

The National Director for Languages and the Project Director for the Languages Ladder have made presentations at both Council of Europe and European Union events, promoting the Languages Ladder/Asset languages scheme, and will continue to do so. Cambridge ESOL—who have developed Asset languages qualifications with OCR as part of Cambridge Assessment—are members of the Association of Languages Testers in Europe and have made formal presentations on Asset languages at international conferences. The Languages Ladder and Asset languages also featured as an example of good practice in the VALEUR (Valuing All Languages in Europe) project which looked at language diversity in Europe and opportunities to gain qualifications in community languages.