THE borough’s top performing school is helping to lead a drive to recruit more foreign language teachers, in a new independent state initiative.

The Government wants to increase the number of pupils gaining language qualifications.

Bolton School is to become one of a number of schools to form part of a hub for trainee teachers as part of the National Modern Languages’ School Centred Initial Teacher Training (SCITT) programme.

Students entering the profession will receive initial training at Silverdale School in Sheffield, a leading comprehensive school, and at the Sheffield Hallam University before offering them a year of teaching training through placements in ‘excellent and modern languages’ departments’ such as Bolton School, Dulwich College in London or in Sheffield.

Bolton School says it has a thriving modern languages department, which teach up to Key Stage Five in French, German and Spanish, with pupils taking part in school trips, exchanges and a range of cultural activities.

Headmistress Sue Hincks said: “Schools across England need more modern languages teachers and we are delighted to help out in this respect by becoming a centre for teacher training.

“We look forward to welcoming and working with aspiring teachers in our senior school in the coming months, where I know they will benefit from being under the guidance of our highly accomplished language teachers.”

Student teachers will be based in Bolton School working alongside the staff in the modern foreign languages department and complete their professional training in Bolton and Silverdale School.

The trainee teachers will be supported by the SCITT lead teacher, who co-ordinates the course with Silverdale School and a subject mentor at Bolton School. The mentor will meet them every week and help them throughout their time in school.

The British Council — the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities — says that it is “vital for the future prosperity of the UK’ that other languages are spoken.