News

Welsh medium school is ‘bursting at the seams’, councillor warns

23 Sep 2021 2 minutes Read
Pembrokeshire Council’s offices. Photo by joysaphine, licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

Katy Jenkins, local democracy reporter

A new Welsh medium secondary school needs to be considered sooner rather than later, a councillor has warned.

During discussions of Pembrokeshire County Council’s draft Welsh language strategy Tenby councillor Mike Evans highlighted the increasing demand for Welsh education with Ysgol Caer Elen’s primary oversubscribed and Ysgol Hafan y Mor “bursting at the seams.”

At policy and pre-decision overview and scrutiny committee Cllr Evans said a secondary school was needed for those living in Tenby and the surrounding area because pupils faced long journeys to Haverfordwest or Crymych otherwise.

He said that not planning for the future was “designing a policy to fail” and what is needed is “serious consideration about a Welsh medium secondary school in the south east of the county and it must be before 2035.”

A new Welsh medium primary is planned for Pembroke and a survey of demand is being carried out in the Milford Haven area, with an overall Welsh education strategy due in the near future.

‘Increasing demand’ 

There was increasing demand for Welsh language services within the council, from customers and as well as in education, with more people requesting to use Welsh in everyday interactions.

Sarah Worby, corporate research and policy officer, said that contacts to the council in Welsh were monitored and there was “certainly a growth in demand” including on the telephone contacts and visits to the Welsh language website and social media use, as well as face to face in leisure centres and libraries.

The corporate plan could be “strengthened” when it came to increasing opportunities for staff said Cllr Rhys Sinnett with cabinet member for the Welsh language Cllr Cris Tomos adding that the “ambition” is to see 32 per cent of the population speaking Welsh.

The committee supported the recommendation to cabinet that the adoption of the Welsh Language Strategy 2021-26 be adopted.

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Philip Jones
Philip Jones
29 days ago

I read this article as good news. I visit Tenby frequently and have always assumed it was capital of”little England beyond Wales”. Who knows? One day they may even get rid of Hart and Crabb……

Barry Pandy
Barry Pandy
29 days ago
Reply to  Philip Jones

Actually if you head into Dinbych Y Pysgod at election time (Westminster or Cardiff) you will see a lot of Plaid Cymru signs so I’m not that surprised (I’m from Sir Benfro in case you’re wondering).

Vaughan
Vaughan
29 days ago
Reply to  Barry Pandy

There are some Plaid councillors for wards in and around Tenby.

Mathew Rees
Mathew Rees
29 days ago
Reply to  Philip Jones

I think this idea of south Pembrokeshire being ‘Little England beyond Wales’ is outdated and borderline offensive.

People there tend to say ‘We’re Welsh but we’re Pembrokeshire first’ and I see nothing wrong with that. They’re definitely not English and they wouldn’t describe themselves as such.

It’s been a Flemish/Norman/Viking/Welsh/English mess since the 12th century. They’re just a hybrid people with their own unique identity which should be accepted, respected, and celebrated.

Stephen Owen
Stephen Owen
28 days ago
Reply to  Mathew Rees

I agree with you but I wouldn’t like to describe it as a mess, it is just a result of history as is everywhere. As to the idea that they are a hybrid people I would add that we all are hybrid, being Welsh is not a matter of DNA. I am from Aberystwyth with Welsh ancestry on both my parents’ sides, but I had my DNA tested a few years ago and discovered that my ancestry is from all over the world, mainly Finland, Belarus, south of France, the Balkins and with over twelve percent from India. I guess… Read more »

Mathew Rees
Mathew Rees
28 days ago
Reply to  Stephen Owen

In the tangled history of Wales, I think mess is an appropriate term.

Stephen Owen
Stephen Owen
28 days ago
Reply to  Mathew Rees

Yes but I would say for the whole of Wales as indeed the world

j humphrys
j humphrys
29 days ago

All over Cymru, parents want their kids to have better schools, trying to get them into Welsh medium or Catholic/Church schools, which are also full.

Cai Wogan Jones
Cai Wogan Jones
29 days ago
Reply to  j humphrys

Are there any denominational WM schools? Would love to see a crop of Catholic WM schools …

Vaughan
Vaughan
29 days ago

And C in W

Crwtyn Cemais
Crwtyn Cemais
29 days ago

Fel Cymro Cymraeg o Ogledd Sir Benfro, mae’n galonogol iawn i glywed bod cymaint o dyfiant yn y gofyn ymhlith rhieni de Sir Benfro, am addysg gyfrwng Cymraeg i’w plant ~ As a Welsh-speaker from North Pembrokeshire, it is very heartening to hear about so much of an increase in the demand from parents in South Pembrokeshire – below the ‘Landsker’ , the historical linguistic faultline – for Welsh-medium education for their children

Vaughan
Vaughan
29 days ago

Welsh-medium education in Tenby,
Pembroke etc in S Pembs but not in Tyddewi which is actually north of the Lansker.
Don’t get that.
Can someone explain?

Mathew Rees
Mathew Rees
29 days ago
Reply to  Vaughan

There are barely any children in St Davids, let alone Welsh adults!

Wrexhamian
Wrexhamian
29 days ago

Really encouraging to see so much demand for WME south of the Landsker. Cyngor Sir Benfro need to act on establishing a new school with all possible haste.

David Brundrett
David Brundrett
26 days ago

My son was murdered in a Pembrokeshire school. Build a prison.

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