Policy Papers

Policy papers connect research with policy through focusing on a specific piece of research and explaining its relevance for policy. The link to policy can range from pointing out conclusions and lessons for practice through to discussion of existing policies and practices and formulation of policy recommendations. In all cases the emphasis is on providing research evidence for criticising, endorsing or proposing a policy.

Language education in the era of Brexit: three challenges for the schools’ sector

This paper focuses on language learning at school level and identifies three policy challenges emerging from the 2016/17 Language Trends survey of primary and secondary schools in England, namely: 


  • Inequalities in access to, and participation in, language learning. The research shows that these are geographic, socio-economic and gender-related.
  • The need to reinvigorate language learning in primary schools and forge more coherent pathways between primary and secondary schools if the aspirations of the national curriculum and for the English Baccalaureate are to be fulfilled. 
  • The challenges posed by Brexit itself in terms of supply and retention of language teachers, motivation to study languages, and opportunities for pupils and teachers to learn through engagement with native speakers and their cultures.  
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