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‘Groundbreaking’ plans to make all-age school Welsh medium

28 May 2024 3 minute read
School children. Welsh Government

Groundbreaking plans to move an all-age school along the language continuum so it eventually becomes a Welsh-medium school will be implemented after being given the go-ahead by a council.

Today (Tuesday, May 28) Powys County Council Cabinet approved proposals to move Ysgol Bro Caereinion in Llanfair Caereinion along the language continuum from a dual-stream school to a Welsh-medium school on a phased basis after considering the objection report.

In the week that the Maldwyn 2024 Urdd Eisteddfod is taking place near Meifod, the decision by Cabinet will help the council meet its Welsh in Education Strategic Plan and the aims of the Strategy for Transforming Education in Powys.

Today’s decision comes a week after the council announced that the planning application has been submitted for a new building for Machynlleth’s Ysgol Bro Hyddgen, which is currently transitioning from a dual-stream school to a Welsh-medium school.

Moving Ysgol Bro Caereinion along the language continuum will enable all learners to develop their language skills and become fluent in Welsh and English, ensuring that they become fully bilingual, and able to confidently use both languages in the future.

It would also ensure that pupils in this part of Powys could access designated Welsh-medium secondary provision.

This type of provision is already available to pupils in other parts of Wales but is currently unavailable in Powys.

Phased basis

The proposal will be introduced on a phased basis starting with Reception in September 2025 and Year 7 in September 2026.

As part of the proposal, the council will offer free home-to-school transport to pupils at years 4 and below at Ysgol Bro Caereinion and Ysgol Rhiw Bechan to their nearest English-medium secondary provider when they transfer from primary to secondary, should that be their preference.

Additional support would be provided to pupils not yet in the Welsh stream as part of the proposal. This would be in the form of immersive Welsh language support ‘Trochi’, to enable pupils currently in the English stream in the school’s primary phase to transfer to Welsh-medium provision.

This type of provision has previously been delivered successfully in the county and in other authorities to enable pupils to transfer from English-medium education to Welsh-medium education.

“Significant decision”

Cllr Pete Roberts, Cabinet Member for a Learning Powys, said: “This is a significant decision which has been taken when the Maldwyn 2024 Urdd Eisteddfod is being held in our county.

“Implementing this proposal will see the council provide well planned provision for increasing the opportunities for a growing number of children and young people to become fully bilingual, fluent in both Welsh and English and therefore contributing to the Welsh Government’s aspiration to achieve a million Welsh speakers by 2050.

“This proposal meets the aims of the Strategy for Transforming Education in Powys and implements the commitments in our Welsh in Education Strategic Plan, which will enable us to make good progress against our target of increasing the number of pupils being taught through the medium of Welsh.

“It is important that Cabinet heard the views of those who have objected to the proposal and these were carefully considered before the decision was made.”

To find out more about Welsh-medium education in Powys, visit https://en.powys.gov.uk/schools and click on Destination Bilingual.


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