Daily Mail claims children of parents who want English-only education ‘second-class citizens’ in Wales
The Daily Mail newspaper has claimed that children whose parents want them to have an English-only education are treated “like second-class citizens” in Wales – because the parents have to drive them to a nearby English-only school.
The newspaper said that pupils “face having to be shuttled by their mothers and fathers by car out of their home villages” because a school in Powys was shutting down its English-only provision and providing bilingual education.
Powys Council said that parents seeking that their children be taught in English-only would not be provided with public transport for their children when there was a Welsh-medium school closer to where they lived.
But the Daily Mail quoted an anonymous parent who said that it was “biased” and that the council was “using children to force them to learn Welsh”.
The Daily Mail insisted that the “problem” had been caused by the Welsh Government’s aim of reaching a million Welsh speakers by 2050, they said, which had “left many children unable to attend their nearest school” unless they were willing to be taught in Welsh.
“From September parents who live there and want their newly-starting children to learn in English will have to take them to Ysgol Gynradd Llanidloes Primary School five miles away at their own cost,” the Daily Mail said.
The newspaper pointed to Ysgol Dyffryn Trannon which had just “axed its English-medium element”.
The then Conservative and independent council debated changing Trefeglwys to a Welsh-medium school in September of last year and concluded that parents living in Trefeglwys had the choice of three nearby schools if they want their children to be taught in English only.
Powys Council however said that a Welsh-medium education was in practice a bilingual one, with children becoming fluent in both languages.
“The current dual-stream model means that whilst pupils attending the Welsh-medium stream become fully bilingual, fluent in both Welsh and English, whilst pupils attending the English-medium stream do not,” they said.
“The process to change the school’s language category was started due to the small number of pupils choosing the English-medium stream at the school, which has reduced significantly over the last few years.”
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