A group of protestors occupied Cardiff Council offices today in a campaign for a Welsh-medium schools at the Plasdŵr development in the capital.
The council leader had said in 2018 that a Welsh-medium school would be part of the new seven thousand home development in the north-west of the city.
However, the council’s cabinet subsequently decided to consult on a proposal to establish a new bilingual primary school which would mean half the pupils going to an English-medium stream.
Mabli Siriol from campaign group Cymdeithas yr Iaith said that the council had a “golden opportunity” to establish a new Welsh-medium school.
She pointed to the fact that the council had received a petition signed by 876 people calling for a Welsh-medium school, with only 15 of the 180 other responses backing the councils plan for an English-medium stream on the site.
“By not using the capital that comes with the huge housing development to open a specifically Welsh-medium school, the council is holding back the growth of the Welsh language in the area and the aspirations of the vast majority of people of the area to revive the language and see all of our young people becoming fluent speakers,” Mabli Siriol said.
“Every new school should be a Welsh-medium one, that’s the shift in thought that’s needed, especially in areas like Cardiff where the population is growing.
“We’re calling on the Council Leader to stick to his word and open a Welsh-medium school, not a bilingual one. After all, a welsh-medium school is what’s needed if the Council is serious about ensuring that we reach a million speakers.
“Cardiff must ensure a dramatic and quick increase in the number of pupils who attend a Welsh-medium school in order to ensure the target is reached.
“Revisiting the failed experiment of bilingual education would prove to be a poor means of immersing pupils in Welsh and insufficient to meet the rising demand for Welsh-medium education in the city.”
The council cabinet is expected to decide on the first school which is part of the Plasdŵr development this Thursday, 23rd January.