Language Assistants


Bring language and culture alive in your school 


Language Assistants work in UK primary and secondary schools, including sixth form and further education colleges. Native-level speakers of French, Spanish, German, Italian, Mandarin Chinese, Russian and Irish, they support the teaching and learning of languages and cultures in the classroom. 


They come from a range of countries in Europe and beyond. Visit the website for a full list.


What do I need to know before applying?
  • Language Assistants are usually between 20- and 30-years-old, and are either studying English or are trainee teachers in their home country. Chinese Language Assistants are all qualified teachers.
  • They can work in your school from 12 to 18 hours a week.
  • The compulsory appointment period is 1 October to 31 May in England and Wales and 1 September to 31 May in Scotland and Northern Ireland.
  • The British Council provides induction and training on arrival, and continued support for schools, local authorities and Language Assistants throughout the year. Support for visa applications is offered to all non-EU Language Assistants.
  • Costs can be shared between up to three schools, reducing the cost to as little as £2,300 a school on average.

New funding opportunities to host Chinese Language Assistants

Applications for subsidised Language Assistants from China have now closed. 


How do I apply for a Language Assistant?

Schools and local authorities should follow these two easy steps:

The initial application deadline of 28 March has now passed and we have closed applications for Language Assistants from China.


However for all other languages and countries we are still able to accept applications and have extended the application period until 31 May 2014

Visit the Language Assistants website for further information or email us at

Local Authorities 

If you are a local authority school please consult the list of UK local authority contacts below before getting in touch with the British Council. If your school has a Local Authority Co-ordinator included in the list you should contact him or her directly. The local authority will submit an application on your behalf.


If your school does not have a Co-ordinator you must apply directly to the British Council. Non-local authority schools (including all academies) should also apply directly.

List of UK local authority contacts 23 KB