Cabinet to consider new Welsh-medium Education Strategy

An education strategy that will guide efforts to build a bilingual future for Powys and its young people, is to be considered by Cabinet later this month, the county council has said.

Powys County Council has produced its Welsh-medium Education Strategy, which outlines a vision for increasing the number of bilingual learners in Powys.  It will be considered by Cabinet on Tuesday, December 15.

Improving access to Welsh-medium provision across all key stages of education is one of the strategic aims in the council’s Strategy for Transforming Education in Powys 2020-2030, which was approved in April.

The purpose of this aim is to ensure that, in future, a growing number of children can access Welsh-medium education from early years to their school leaving age.

If approved, the strategy will form the basis of the council’s new Welsh in Education Strategic Plan (WESP), a binding document to ensure well planned provision for increasing the opportunities for a growing number of children and young people in Powys to become fully bilingual.

Cllr Phyl Davies, Cabinet Member for Education and Property, said: “Over the last 12 months, we have had significant engagement with parents, learners, school leaders, teachers and others to help inform the re-shaping and transformation of the educational provision for children and young people in Powys.

“During our engagement sessions, concerns were expressed around the current provision of education in Welsh in Powys.

“Not all parts of the county have easily accessible primary or secondary education through the medium of Welsh, many schools that do provide a dual-stream approach do not deliver enough of their curriculum in Welsh to satisfy their learners and the choice of subjects taught through the medium of Welsh becomes smaller as the learner get older are some of the concerns that were raised during our engagement sessions.

“The evidence from the rest of Wales is that bilingual/Welsh-medium provision offers the best opportunity for learners to become fully bilingual, whilst also creating a dynamic outward looking cultural environment.

“We want to improve access to Welsh-medium provision across all the key stages of education and increase the opportunities for children and young people in Powys to become fully bilingual.

“I believe that this proposed strategy will help deliver this. It will ensure that our young people have the same opportunities as their peers in the rest of Wales to pursue their education in Welsh through to the end of secondary school.”