Language Assistants information sheet - British Council

By Jeffrey Lawrence,2014-02-07 18:44
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Language Assistants information sheet - British Councilsheet

    Information sheet for schools

    FOR HEADS OF MFL / MFL COORDINATORS: Please copy and pass to the relevant contact at each host school



; Receive and read FLA dossier (application form) from British Council.

    ; Send a brief email or phone your assistant(s) immediately to say that you have received their dossier and will

    be sending them a formal offer in due course.

    ; Send formal offer letter* to assistant explaining that the offer is subject to receipt of a valid police and medical

    certificate, if not already included in their dossier. This letter should be sent by Monday 17th June for non-EU

    assistants and by Monday 1 July for all others.

    ; For non-EU assistants (excluding Swiss) i.e. Canadian and Latin American FLAs, see cover sheet on

    dossier for special action required.

    ; Remind assistants to obtain a police clearance certificate if not already included in their dossier. We

    recommend that you ask them to send it to you in advance of their arrival and bring the original with them on

    their first day. Your offer of the job should be conditional on the provision of satisfactory police clearance

    certificates. If the dossier does not include a medical certificate, we recommend that you also request this in

    advance of their arrival.

    ; Liaise with your partner school(s), if applicable, regarding sharing arrangements and relevant support for the

    assistant. NB: Only the host school should pay the FLA’s allowance; partner schools should reimburse host

    school as necessary to avoid tax complications. For an overview of FLA payment rates for 2013-14, please


    ; Once the assistant has accepted the post, schools must complete the Confirmation of Appointment form*

    electronically (available on our website) and return to the British Council via email to This document is essential in order for assistants to gain official status on

    the programme and allows us to provide them with official documents and invitations to meetings arranged by

    organisations such as the Goethe Institut, the Consejería de Educación and l’Institut Français.

    ; Arrange accommodation for the assistant, or provide advice.

    ; Discuss with appropriate colleagues when to obtain tax form P46 in advance of the assistant’s arrival.

    ; It is a legal requirement of employing schools to ensure a disclosure check is obtained by all FLAs upon

    arrival in the UK.

    ; Prepare the Statement of Employment* (contract) in advance of the assistant’s arrival. This must be

    provided to the assistant on arrival (a suggested format for this legally required document can be found on our


    ; Sign-up to the webinar “Getting the most from your FLA experience” on Wednesday 19 or Wednesday 26

    June at 4.15 5.30pm

    *All required documentation and further information can be found here:

    Please see overleaf

Information to consider:

Contact with your assistant

    It is very important that immediate contact is made between school and assistant in order to confirm both parties’

    participation in the programme before you send an official letter. Ensure a main point of contact (mentor teacher) is appointed for each FLA. Contact should be maintained throughout the summer period to ensure all necessary arrangements are in place. If contact with your assistant has not been established after at least 2 attempts (by email and telephone), please let us know. Should a candidate withdraw from the scheme for any reason, the British Council will make every effort to issue a replacement dossier.

Period of employment

    The core period of appointment is from 1 October to 30 May (8 months). Offers of appointment must guarantee a timetable of 12 hours per week. Employing schools are free to invite their FLA(s) to serve for up to a month longer at the

    beginning and/or end of the contract or to work up to 18 hours per week (in both cases with additional payment on a pro rata basis) but should note that such a proposal must be made clear from the outset and agreed in advance by the assistant. Candidates should not be required to accept such an invitation. FLAs should work in no more than 3


FLA Allowance for 2013-14

    For an overview of FLA payment rates for 2013-14, please check:

Police Certificates

    All FLAs must provide a police certificate from their home country. It is your responsibility to ensure that these documents are provided if not already included in their dossier. Please note that it is a legal requirement for

    employing schools to ensure a police clearance check is obtained by all FLAs upon arrival in the UK.

Medical certificates

    We strongly recommend that you ask your FLA to obtain a medical certificate and send it to you in advance of their arrival. Dossiers from some countries will already include a medical certificate but please check this is the case.

Further guidance

    In addition to the information available on our website, an updated online booklet with detailed guidance on all aspects of the FLA programme for schools and assistants will be available shortly. We will send you the link to this as soon as it is available; please refer to it throughout the assistantship.

Support for FLA Mentor teachers - Date for your diary!

    We delighted to be able to offer for the first time this year a training webinar for FLA mentors - “Getting the most from

    your FLA experience”. The session will be run by the Language Assistant team with contributions of good practice from experienced FLA host schools. We will share our advice and tips on how to prepare for, support and best use an FLA in your school and we recommend that a representative from all schools working with an FLA attends. The webinar will run on 2 separate occasions: Wednesday 19 and Wednesday 26 June at 4.15 5.30pm. You can join one of these

    training sessions from your own computer and just need headphones and internet connection. We will send you an email shortly with information on how to register.

Contact with British Council

    In order to avoid confusion, please ensure that any correspondence on behalf of Local Authority schools is co-ordinated by the Local Authority coordinator. Schools dealing directly with the British Council (e,g. Independent, Academy) should contact the relevant team member.

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