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Chinese good practice

As schools wonder how they will find the teachers to meet the Scottish Executive's target of having at least 200 pupils sitting Chinese language exams by 2010, the Chinese Overseas Movement of Advanced Culture may have come to the rescue A charity that represents the Chinese educational bureau in Britain, it will be supplying volunteer tutors of Mandarin to schools for up to 22 hours a week from September. Smaller schools can team up to help cover the tutors' accommodation costs.

The Scottish Qualifications Authority is expected to introduce a Chinese language exam at Intermediate 1 next year and a Higher in 2009. Vincent Oates of Strathclyde University has been researching the extent of school and FE college involvement with Chinese language and culture and hopes to report by the summer.

The Scotland China Education Network (SCEN) estimates it has 55 state and independent schools in its membership, and six Chinese language assistants are currently working in East Ayrshire, East Lothian, East Ren-frewshire, Perth and Kinross, and St George's School for Girls in Edinburgh. There is a target of 10 assistants for next session.

The network will be holding a "good practice" conference at St George's in May, and a China-Scotland leadership conference in October.

SCEN: head@st-georges.edin.sch.uk

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