FOREIGN LANGUAGE ASSISTANTS
Guidance Notes On Information Required form Schools for the Appointment of
FLAs (Foreign Language Assistants) are young foreign students of English
participating in a scheme overseen by the British Council in partnership with similar
agencies world wide to provide support for teachers of MFL (Modern Foreign
Languages). Their status is “unique” in that they are not qualified teachers and their
pay and terms and conditions are agreed and approved by the British Council in
liaison with the scheme’s partners. Their role is to provide support; they cannot
assume responsibility for planning or teaching whole classes. They are a rich
resource in that, as native speakers of the “foreign” language, they offer up-to-date
authentic language input for our pupils, students and teachers as well as a
stimulating role model. The scheme enables many UK students of MFL to enjoy an
“Assistantship” in the country whose language they are studying thus improving the
language skills and confidence of our future foreign language teachers. LA schools –
primary and secondary – are eligible to “apply” to the LA to engage a FLA each
academic year. The salary costs are borne by the schools’ budget.
Key points for school administrators
1. The County Adviser for Modern Foreign Languages based at the Kingston
Centre (Jim Fisher) liaises with the school’s nominated FLA Mentor and
invites them to a briefing meeting usually held in July. Prior to this at the
beginning of the year communication goes to all schools inviting them to
apply for a Foreign Language Assistant if they wish.
2. FLA dossiers (which contain their application form and references) are sent to
Mentors in late May / early June. These are to be retained by the host school
who are responsible for ensuring the relevant documentation is provided and
for sending the FLA a formal offer of appointment. There may be partner
schools who share the FLA with the host school but the above and all other
procedures in these guidelines have to be carried out by the host school not
3. As soon as the FLA has accepted the post the school completes an ADF/.4
and sends it to the British Council (Language Assistants (C & P), 10 Spring
Gardens, London. SW1A 2BN) with a copy to Jim Fisher at Kingston Centre.
Upon receipt the British Council sends a certificate to the FLA to prove they
will be employed in Britain and to confirm that they “enjoy” full time student
status for the purposes of COUNCIL TAX from which they are exempt.
4. Kingston Centre (Jim Fisher) informs HRSSC when they know of the intention
of a school to appoint a FLA.
5. Bursars and / or Secretaries responsible for the appointment process need to
be made aware of the intention to employ FLAs so that they can make sure
that the necessary information is passed to HRSSC in plenty of time.
6. In 2007 the British Council introduced CRB checks for FLAs. As more often
than not the employee does not enter the country until just before taking up
appointment this is the first time they will be able to provide documents for the
check. However, it is very important that this is done as soon as possible
after they arrive in the country as they cannot be left unsupervised until the
check is through and this takes between 4 and 8 weeks once it has been
processed by HRSSC. We will be asking the FLA’s through their mentors
to bring all the relevant identity documents and CRB application form
with them to the induction day held at the beginning of October at the
Kingston Centre so that we can then complete Section X of the form
which will then enable use to send them all off together to CRB.
Action required from school:
Photo copy all the documents which should include the following items all
items in bold must be provided:
1. Police Clearance document (compulsory)
2. Passport or National Identity Card (compulsory)
3. Medical Registration Certificate which will be issued to them as soon
as they register with a local Doctors surgery, they need to do this as
soon as possible after they arrive.
4. Letter from Headteacher (compulsory - template available)
5. Medical Certificate (compulsory)
6. Plus one other documentation from the following list –
Exam Diploma Certificate
When they attend the Induction day they should bring both the original
documents and the photo copies to enable us to complete Section X on the
CRB Application form. They should also bring a letter with them from the
Headteacher confirming their employment with the school, verifying their
current address in England. Template for this is available via:
7. With regard to accommodation, FLA Mentors are given guidance on this at
the briefing meeting. It is the HOST school’s responsibility to ensure that the
FLA has appropriate if provisional accommodation when they arrive in the
autumn term. Address details are needed in order to set up a bank account
and for completion of the CRB form.
8. Most FLAs are not liable to pay tax. In order to facilitate this a P46 needs to
be completed and sent to the HRSSC we will however be issuing all FLA’s
with a P46 form to complete on their induction day so as long as your FLA
attends the session then there will be no need for the school to complete and
send a P46 in. SAP will also be updated appropriately, for the automated
system of informing the HMRC. We will operate Basic Rate (BR) Tax until a
formal notification is received from HMRC – a tax refund, if appropriate, will
be applied on the next available pay date. FLAs will have tax deducted if this
document is not submitted as requested.
9. Foreign Language Assistants are usually employed for eight months from 1
October to 31 May. If the end date changes from 31 May this must be
notified to HRSSC on a termination form. The FLA is contracted to work for
12 hours per week in total. He / she does not have PPA time. Additional
hours, up to a maximum of 18 in total can be offered. If there are any changes
to hours or extra payments to be made these must be “agreed” by the HOST
school and Jim Fisher. Jim Fisher will then complete a variation form, submit
this to HRSSC and send a copy to the Host school. Changes to personal
details should be completed on a personal data changes form.
10. It can be difficult for FLAs to set up a bank account so it is vital they begin the
process as soon after they enter the country as possible. One of the
problems is that they require proof of identity and address. It is difficult to say
which banks will set up accounts as it appears to vary from branch to branch.
If you do traditionally employ FLAs it is worth asking them where they have
set up their account and what documents they had to provide so that you can
guide future FLAs. Some schools also find it easier for FLAs to set up
accounts if they accompany them to the branch where they have the school
account. HRSSC needs the FLA’s bank details before payroll deadline of the
month in which they are first employed (usually October). A separate form is
available (FL1) to submit direct to HRSSC as soon as the bank has issued an
account number. A template for a letter confirming the details often required
by banks and the FL1 form are available from the LA’s MFL web site (see
above). We will also be trying to assist in this area by arranging for the Co-op
bank to be in attendance at the Induction Day.
11. If a partnership involves a Stoke school where a Staffordshire school is the
host then all of the above applies. If the Stoke school is the designated host
then you have no role in the above process as Stoke are the employer.
12. FLAs do pay National Insurance and are therefore eligible to apply for a NI
number which should be done as soon as possible. To do this the school
should apply for an application form reference CA5407 by contacting: Job
Centre Plus, Glasgow CCU, Admin Team, Baird Street, Glasgow G90 8BN.
Tel: 0845 6415047. Page 8 of the form is to be signed and stamped by the
employer which, for these purposes is the school, Form to be returned to
FLA to retain the front tear off slip with the application number in the top right
13. HRSSC issues a contract in the form of a “Statement of Employment” to
each FLA at their HOST school shortly after October half term. This confirms
their terms and conditions of employment and complements the offer of
appointment letter made by the school. The format of the Statement of
Employment is in line with British Council requirements. A model for reference
is available at the LA website (see above)
Terms/Documents and dates
Host School – responsible for appointing and mentoring the FLA and submitting all
FLA1 Bank detail form given to Mentors at July briefing so that HR receive bank
details as soon as possible should AF200 take time to complete
EV200 Variation Form to HRSCC with any employment changes e.g. change of
ED200 Data Changes Form to HRSSC with personal changes e.g. Address.
TF200 Termination Form to HRSSC if the end date is other than 31 May.
P46 – Completed by FLA and school and sent in to HRSSC.
AD/F.4 to be completed by the host school as soon as the FLA has formally
accepted the appointment and sent to: Language Assistants (C & P), British Council,
10 Spring Gardens, London. SW1A 2BN
Tel 020 7930 8466 Copy to Jim Fisher at Kingston Centre.
Medical Form – all FLAs are required to submit a medical form confirming they are
fit to fulfil the role. They should bring this with them if their dossier does not contain
one. The host school needs to retain the original and issue a copy to any partner
CRB – Schools to photo copy all original documents for FLA’s to then bring with them
to the induction day along with the signed letter from the Headteacher.
Please note that FLA’s will no longer be shown on your schools organisation
structure as they will sit in a position held outside of the school similar to how
we use positions for Supply Teachers and One To One Tutors. However you
should hold all the relevant details of the FLA on your schools single central
Please remember that you no longer need to submit an Appointment form to
the Shared Service Centre.