Cardiff reveals 10 year plan to educate over a quarter of children through Welsh
Cardiff has revealed a 10-year plan to educate over a quarter of the capital city’s children through the Welsh language.
They said that it is a milestone on the road to the Welsh Government’s target of ensuring that 70% of children in Wales can speak Welsh by 2050.
The language plan will now go out to public consultation before being submitted to the government for approval.
Cardiff Council’s Cabinet member for Education and Lifelong Learning, Cllr Sarah Merry, said that she wanted to “develop a bilingual Cardiff where the Welsh language is a vibrant living language”.
“We will seek to do this by increasing Welsh medium education provision sustainably towards the targets set out in Cymraeg 2050. Our plan reflects our ambition that every young person has the opportunity to hear, speak and enjoy Welsh,” she said.
“It is hoped that this will allow young people to fully embrace the language as part of our national fabric and recognise its place at the heart of Cardiff, Wales’s capital city.”
A key target set by Welsh Government is for Cardiff to ensure that 25-29% of Year 1 learners are educated through the medium of Welsh by 2032.
Currently, 18% of Year 1 learners are taught through Welsh in Cardiff.
The strategy, which will run from 2022-2032, includes a number of interventions to boost the language, including:
- Grow primary and secondary provision, which supports Welsh Government’s target of one million Welsh speakers in Wales by 2050;
- Supporting current provision and stimulating more demand for Welsh-medium education across the city;
- Working with partners and the Welsh Education Forum to provide a strong foundation for the Welsh language to grow and thrive within Cardiff.
- Invigorating the promotion of education opportunities through Welsh (from early years through maintained education and into further and higher education);
- Working with parents to understand the influencing factors in choosing a school for their child(ren);
- Continuing to support Immersion provision for latecomers to the language within Cardiff so that Welsh medium education can be explored as an option available to all families;
- Working to support increased diversity within Welsh-medium – ensuring that all families in Cardiff are aware it is an available choice for their child and see their local school as a reflection of their community and the city;
- Increasing the number of fluent Welsh speaking teaching and learning staff to support growth and continued commitment to delivering excellent Welsh-medium education and Welsh teaching in Cardiff schools.
Cllr Sarah Merry said she wanted to continue to grow demand for Welsh-medium education.
“We have already taken great strides forward in this area opening new Welsh medium schools across the city and making more pupil places available in existing schools,” she said.
“We are intent on ensuring places are available to all families who choose a Welsh-medium education in Cardiff and we are keen for parents to fully welcome the opportunities that being bilingual in Wales can bring for their children from birth to adulthood.
“There’s little doubt people are becoming more aware of the benefits of a bilingual education, but there is work still to do to ensure each and every family has the knowledge to make a fully informed decision and feel confident to choose Welsh-medium for their children.
“Our Welsh Immersion Unit has a proven track record for helping families moving into Cardiff or choosing to move from English-medium to Welsh-medium education partway through their child’s education journey, but we need tocontinue to work on promoting support which is available for parents whose children are learning through Welsh.
“Finally, we must remain mindful of the needs of all of our current schools as we increase Welsh medium provision. By increasing provision in a strategic way, taking account of current population and birth rate projections – which are predicting an initial fall in pupil numbers up to 2024 – we looking to ensure that all our schools are on a strong financial footing and that all existing Welsh-medium schools remain viable.”