Mandarin Excellence Programme

Click here for  中文.

The DfE’s Mandarin Excellence Programme (MEP) is being delivered by UCL IOE Confucius Institute in partnership with the British Council. The purpose of the programme is to deliver a minimum of 5,000 speakers of Mandarin on their way to a high level of fluency by 2020.



The programme implements a rigorous programme of study for pupils in participating schools, starting from Year 7 for selected groups of pupils. Participating schools are at the forefront of delivery and funding is available to support successful delivery of the programme aims.

There are 14 schools already signed up to start delivery from September 2016.

This programme is open to all secondary schools, but funding to support development is only available for state-funded secondary schools. The programme will:

  • only include schools with a good track record of Mandarin Chinese able to teach the subject from Year 7
  • require intensive learning – involving the study of Mandarin for eight hours a week, made up of a combination of teacher-taught classroom lessons (a minimum of four hours a week), after school teaching, self-study and intensive language courses in the UK and China for the selected MEP group.

In delivering the programme UCL IOE Confucius Institute, in partnership with the British Council will:

  • train a sufficient number of teachers to support the programme;
  • embed effective, sustainable teaching practices that will continue to increase the number of pupils studying Mandarin beyond the life of the programme
  • give pupils an immersive experience of China through digital media and visits to China for some pupils.

Express an interest in becoming part of the programme: Click here to read more about expressing an interest to become an MEP School from September 2017 & September 2018

Click here to download the Expression of Interest Form