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‘Revolution needed or plan to reach a million Welsh speakers will fail’, says commissioner

21 Oct 2021 3 minute read
Aled Roberts, the Welsh Language Commissioner.

A revolution is needed in the education sector or the vision of a million Welsh speakers will fail.

That’s the warning from Welsh Language Commissioner Aled Roberts in a hard-hitting report into the state of the language and the experiences of Welsh Speakers over the past five years.

One of the main problems was the shortage of teachers and the difficulties of attracting Welsh speakers into the profession.

He was also concerned the Welsh language had not been considered as part of the Covid-19 recovery plan and the impact of Brexit and that could also have an impact on the future of the language.

Roberts shares the findings in his first podcast which accompanies the publication of the report which highlights new rights to use the language and the target of a million Welsh speakers by 2050.

Efforts made by organisations and societies to increase the use of Welsh in everyday lives and within workplaces were a reason to be hopeful about the future of the language in some areas.

He said: “There are a number of areas where there has been insufficient progress, where opportunities have been missed, or where the Welsh language has not received fair and due consideration. I draw attention to these areas in the report and come to conclusions that will need to be considered by policy makers in Wales.

There were now 123 organisations operating Welsh language standards, including health service organisations, universities and colleges, police forces and county councils.


Roberts added: “Evidence in the report shows that there are more opportunities to use Welsh since the standards were introduced.

“I want to see standards extended across the public sector so that Welsh speakers have more rights to receive services in their language, and that more opportunities arise to use the language in the workplace and beyond.”

Achieving the goal of a million Welsh speakers depended on transforming the ability of the education system to create new speakers.

Currently, 22% of primary age children attended Welsh-medium education schools.

The aim was to increase this percentage to 40% by 2050.

There is also a target to ensure that 50% of pupils in English-medium schools become Welsh speakers by 2050.

According to Mr Roberts: “A revolution is needed in the education sector, or the vision of a million Welsh speakers will fail.

“Currently, there are not enough teachers. Much more needs to be done to attract Welsh speakers into the profession, and to develop the Welsh language skills of those teaching through the medium of English.”

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2 years ago

Perhaps if we could put the history of the Cymru on our school curriculum, like every other nation on the planet can teach theirs, then perhaps in a school generation or two, our young people will realise it’s value and worth.

2 years ago
Reply to  Andrew

Ah .. but don’t you remember? We don’t have a history in the first place. The (ex-) Education Minister told us so.

Now get back in your box and eat your cereal!

Education Minister criticised over ‘there’s no such thing as a Welsh history’ comments (

2 years ago
Reply to  Welsh_Sion

Didn’t Neal gravey train Kinnock also say the same back in the day? Or was it some other greasy pole merchant? I’n the meantime, we will have to make do with foreign invaders history then, as ours is just myths and legend, as the Welsh tourism board puts it.

2 years ago

Aled has a v difficult job as did Meri H and as one outside the main policy streams within Wales – the freedom he enjoys gives him justified good will but little direct daily influence. The WLB had its faults but it did enjoy links & membership across a very wide degree of our national life. This did allow its members to help cascade and monitor compliance and implentation of agreed language schemes. THIS MONITORING NO LONGER EXISTS IN ANY REAL FORM.. To expect the magic million to appear needs an arms length but representative cross section of Welsg life… Read more »

Grayham Jones
2 years ago

Welsh must be the first language in wales 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿 and welsh names no English names in wales 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿 we in wales have got to stop being little Englanders and and be proud to be welsh start fighting for your children and grandchildren future in wales 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿 it’s time for a new wales 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿

2 years ago
Reply to  Grayham Jones

I hope you mean place-names and not surnames!

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