Language colleges were introduced in 1995. Over 380 schools became designated specialist language colleges, including 18 schools combining languages with another specialism and over 100 schools that have languages as a second specialism.

Specialist language colleges raise standards of achievement and the quality of teaching and learning in languages for all learners. The specialism acts as a key lever to raise standards across the whole school. They work in partnership with other schools and the wider community.

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