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Commissioners call for improved provision of Welsh language learning needs

01 Jun 2023 3 minute read
Commissioners have joined forces to call for improved provision in delivery of learning needs through the medium of Welsh

The Welsh Language Commissioner and the Children’s Commissioner will join forces at the Urdd Eisteddfod today to call for improved provision in the delivery of additional learning needs through the medium of Welsh.

In a policy paper published on the subject, they will ask the Welsh Government to prioritise the work of setting up a national review of the field and the provision that is currently offered through the Welsh language.

Welsh Language Commissioner, Efa Gruffudd Jones said: “Currently around 20% of pupils in Wales have additional learning needs, which is a significant percentage and we need to ensure that the requirements of those pupils who receive their education through Welsh are fully considered.

“At present the system that exists in Wales does not reflect the fact that we are a bilingual country and that needs to be addressed.

“While our recommendations in the paper are challenging, especially in terms of the workforce, they need to be considered soon, especially bearing in mind the proposed Education Bill which is currently being consulted on, and I look forward to having further discussions to ensure the best services for our children and young people.”

“Basic rights”

Children’s Commissioner for Wales, Rocio Cifuentes said: “Every child in Wales has the right to an education and as we are a bilingual country, they have the right to receive that education in the language of their choice.

“I am very concerned that there are children with additional learning needs who do not have access to Welsh medium education or do not receive the appropriate support, and this is why I was keen to work with the Welsh Language Commissioner to highlight the truth about the situation.

“As we note in our paper there are examples of good practice to be seen from local authorities working together to offer a good standard of service but that is not consistent across Wales. It is therefore necessary to act in order to ensure that our children and young people are not deprived of their basic rights.

Local authorities have been required to create strategic plans for the Welsh language in education and at Canolfan yr Eithin, a specialist centre in Carmarthenshire has been providing support for pupils with additional learning needs.

Head of Canolfan yr Eithin, Llinos Watkins said: “Canolfan yr Eithin was established by the Carmarthenshire Inclusion Department on the site of Maes y Gwendraeth school with the aim of offering a supportive and inclusive resource and to do so naturally through the Welsh language.

“It is an extremely valuable resource in this area but it is important to emphasise that it is necessary to consider the need in each individual area and respond to the demand suitably and appropriately.

“The majority of our pupils live their lives naturally through the Welsh language and it is therefore crucial to ensure that the provision for them is offered through their mother tongue.”

The Commissioners will now call for local authorities to review their provision of Additional Learning Needs (ALN) through the medium of Welsh and use that information to update their ALN strategic plans.

The have also asked that the Welsh Government publish the timetable for its five year review on ALN provision through the medium of Welsh and the Commissioners have also called for a development of proposals for collaboration arrangements between local authorities.

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Cathy Jones
Cathy Jones
10 months ago

Why do we never have any quotes from linguists in relation to our language? Why is it ALWAYS in the hands of minor politicians, nationalists (urgh scum. nationalism=inequality and arrogance, spit on them all) and wealthy “Welsh” people whose idea of a truly independent Cymru would just be the same as in England but everyone speaks “Welsh” and they get to decide on what “culture” actually is and which ones are valid….. In ALL of the articles I have read about our language on this website, I have never once seen a word from an actual, qualified, linguist. Not once.… Read more »

Iago Prydderch
Iago Prydderch
10 months ago
Reply to  Cathy Jones

Cymraeg and Saesneg relates ONLY to the Welsh and English languages and NOT to Welsh and English people!

10 months ago
Reply to  Cathy Jones

What an horrific comment. Hate and resentment. You don’t represent any view of this nation save your own and that wished upon us by those who wish to divide us. You outline (eerily well) the very position that has undermined any hope of national or cultural cohesion in our nation for the last 300 years, playing into the narrative for reasons of personal animus, allowing for scapegoating and stereotype to rule supreme. Their cheering for you in the gentleman’s clubs of London right now, chanting your name in Belgravia. Adding in a “Saesneg” this and the occasional “Cymru” doesn’t veil… Read more »

10 months ago
Reply to  Cathy Jones

A lot of personal issues here I feel 🥹

I do however respect this miss mash of views expressed- which I’m sure are well meant and shared with a view to
add to debate.

Diolch am eich sylwadau 👍🏼

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