A BRADFORD school is one of nine chosen across England to be a language hub to boost the number of students studying a foreign language at GCSE.

Dixon Kings Academy, in Lidget Green, has been named as a Centre of Excellence for modern foreign languages by the Department of Education.

It is the only school in Yorkshire on the list and one of only three schools north of Luton on the list, along with Preston and Gateshead.

The aim of the new hub is to get more students studying French, German and Spanish at GCSE in a plan backed by the business world, which said in a survey foreign language skills are an important skill for their employees to have.

Dixons Kings has been chosen as despite being located in one of Bradford’s most deprived areas, with 42 per cent of students coming from disadvantaged backgrounds, 93 per cent of students sit a GCSE in languages.

The Department for Education said languages teachers at Dixons Kings “work collaboratively to ensure the basics are consistently and correctly applied”.

It added: “Their MFL teachers teach and their students learn with passion and enthusiasm for languages.

“Grammar and vocabulary are explicitly taught in lessons and reinforced via homework and subsequent weekly testing.

“The school regularly reviews the way they teach different aspects of grammar to ensure that they are using best practice to improve outcomes for students.

“The principal, Neil Miley, has made a strong commitment to support the MFL hub and to ensure that MFL teachers at Dixons Kings are given the time to develop their own pedagogical practice alongside supporting the MFL teachers in the schools within their MFL Hub.”

Nick Gibb, Minister for School Standards, said: “It has never been more important for young people to learn a foreign language than now.

“An outward looking global nation needs a new generation of young people comfortable with the language and culture of our overseas trading partners.

“This programme will give teachers the expertise and support they need to teach pupils key languages such as Spanish, French and German – languages that businesses say they want from their employees.

“The knowledge pupils will gain in this subject at GCSE and A level will help deliver the skilled workforce we need and build a Britain that is fit for the future.”

The Centre of Excellence is backed by £4.8 million over the next four years, after recommendations from a review which found weaknesses in British graduates’ translation and interpreting skills losing the UK 3.5 per cent of economic performance.