Departments: Languages

Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs written question – answered on 27th June 2007.

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Photo of Rob Marris Rob Marris Labour, Wolverhampton South West

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment she has made of the quality of the language teaching available from outside providers compared with that available from the in-house staff in her Department.

Photo of Geoff Hoon Geoff Hoon Minister of State (Europe), Foreign & Commonwealth Office

We do not believe that quality of training will be affected. Language teaching suppliers will have performance targets built into their contracts. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) Services Review of Language training, which looked at the examination performance of trainees taught by agency-supplied teachers, concluded that examination performance is not automatically enhanced by having full time teachers. 40 per cent. of FCO priority language training is already outsourced.

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