London-Paris deal may inspire Channel hopping

3rd April 2009 at 01:00

An initiative to boost shared learning between schools in London and Paris is expected to see an increase in the number of teachers crossing the Channel.

Last week's agreement of co-operation between the two cities is an extension of the Anglo-French memorandum of understanding signed in 2003 by Charles Clarke, then education secretary.

The accord, which aims to share best practice and exchange ideas, has been signed by the Department for Children, Schools and Families and the main schools body in the French capital, l'Academie de Paris. In all, 24 of London's 33 boroughs have signed up; one notable absentee is Westminster.

Andrew Vivian, project delivery manager for school partnerships at the British Council, which has helped pioneer the initiative, said: "It will develop teacher training opportunities. There will be seminars, study visits and joint curriculum projects."

The majority of teachers heading for schools in Paris are likely to be foreign language teachers. They will stay for up to two weeks, spending half their time shadowing their Parisian counterpart.

In the main, primaries have benefited from the existing arrangement, but this week's deal is expected to see secondaries join the programme.

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