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‘You can’t stop the English coming to Wales’, says parent behind petition against school switch to Welsh medium

28 Nov 2021 3 minutes Read
Ysgol Bro Hyddgen, Machynlleth. Google

A parent behind a petition against switching a school to the Welsh medium has suggested you “cannot stop” English people from coming to Wales.

Dai Holt, 53, has claimed that Powys County Council’s decision to change Machynlleth’s Ysgol Bro Hyddgen from dual stream, does not “represent the community”, and claimed it was a “draconian” policy.

This is despite a public consultation having found the majority of respondents backing the phased transition from dual-stream to Welsh-medium schooling at the bilingual school for pupils aged between four and 18.

The consultation found that just over 61 per cent were in favour, 37.5 per cent were against and 1.3 per cent ‘didn’t know’.

Holt, who has a daughter, 8, studying in the English stream, helped organise more than 1,200 signatures in opposition to the plans.

Plaid Cymru councillor Elwyn Vaughan has previously told the County Times: “This matter shouldn’t be seen as a ‘Welsh vs English’ thing, and I deplore those that try to make it such.”

Holt told the Sunday Times: “The school we cherish should represent the community”.

He added: “More English people are going to come to Wales. You cannot stop them with more draconian policies on schooling and houses.

“Schools run on numbers, not language. If you do not have bottoms on seats, you will not have a school to run. People have been verbally and even physically abused over this.”

‘Fear of the unknown’ 

In response to opposition to the plans, Cllr Elwyn Vaughan who represents nearby Glantwymyn and is chairman of the school governors, has previously said: “Whenever any changes are proposed it is inevitable that some are opposed to such changes, fear of the unknown is understandable.

“Bilingualism is the norm in the world – monolingualism is not – and that is what an English stream is – fluency in one language.

“Bilingualism provides the basis to learn other languages and become truly multilingual – a important asset for the future.”

“Only three pupils have started in the English stream this September – that is totally unsustainable and not fair on them.”

Language campaigners Cymdeithas yr Iaith have welcomed the move to change the school to Welsh medium.

Osian Rhys, from Cymdeithas yr Iaith’s Education Group said: “This is very encouraging news, and gives hope to so many other people and communities. Many thanks to the school governors, campaigners and politicians who have supported this very positive change.

“Welsh-medium schools are the only way of ensuring that children are able to communicate fluently in both Welsh and English. Moving schools along the language continuum is one of the main ways in which we as a society will reach one million Welsh speakers and more.

“This is why we are calling for a Welsh-medium Education for All Act that will encourage and facilitate the conversion of schools across the country into Welsh medium schools, with much easier new processes and statutory targets for all county councils.”

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Arwyn
Arwyn
2 months ago

We’re not going to stop Welsh people moving to England either but we can certainly teach Cymraeg to our new friends, neighbours and colleagues.

It matters.

Gareth Gravell
Gareth Gravell
2 months ago
Reply to  Arwyn

There will always be the occasional crackpot in the basket. Perhaps he doesn’t understand that Welsh language education = bilingualism, fluency in both languages.

Pob lwc
Pob lwc
2 months ago
Reply to  Arwyn

Spot on, Arwyn. Maybe they should start teaching a bit of Welsh in English schools – it might foster better relationships between the Welsh and the English.

Stuart Cane
Stuart Cane
1 month ago
Reply to  Arwyn

I moved to Wales from England over 25 years ago and learned Welsh within the first few years via a great Wlpan course run by Cymdeithas yr Iaith Caerdydd. My daughters are both now in Welsh medium education, one in school and one in university studying to be a Welsh medium primary school teacher. This has been 100% gain and no loss for all of us.

Arwyn
Arwyn
1 month ago
Reply to  Stuart Cane

Bendigedig a diolch i ti.

Quornby
Quornby
2 months ago

The consultation had a clear result. End of story.

GW Atkinson
GW Atkinson
2 months ago

Only 3 pupils are in the English stream. What does that tell that absolute clown? Parents want to give their kids a headstart in life and listening to morons like him will never get you anywhere. Guess how I manage to pick up and understand other languages way quicker than any of my friends. I was speaking two languages by the age of four and three by the age of six. Monoglots who criticise this don’t have a clue and it’s their own ignorance on the matter that is to blame.But their ignorance and arrogance will always tell them they… Read more »

Gareth
Gareth
2 months ago

The man clearly has a problem with his math’s. 61% of people in favour of a change to a Welsh medium school, only 3 pupils starting in the English stream. If he thinks this does not represent the community, I would suggest he join his daughters math’s class.

Robert G
Robert G
2 months ago

It’s Llangennech all over again, when a tiny group of reactionaries & ukippers thought the world will end if children are taught Welsh. Guess what it didn’t. What on earth is he talking about? Nobody has suggested stopping English people moving to Wales, which is impossible anyway, it’s about ensuring all our children are bilingual which is beneficial to the child. Dai Holt comes across as an absolute idiot with a view based on ignorance and fear.

O Rob
O Rob
2 months ago

The English are forever going on about how immigrants change the fabric of their communities, refuse to integrate and steal their jobs etc etc . If this is the case then they should lead by example and practice what they preach when they emigrate to Cymru. To be fair, a small percentage of incomers realise they’re moving into a different country and make an effort to integrate, but the majority think they’re moving into an extended part of England and believe we should bend to their will. Stand firm Elwyn Vaughan and co, you’re doing good, this should be the… Read more »

John Davies
John Davies
2 months ago
Reply to  O Rob

Absolutely. If people arrive in England from other countries/cultures the English demand they “integrate”. This is no different.

Rhosddu
Rhosddu
2 months ago
Reply to  O Rob

The irony escapes him. This is classic colonialism straight out of the 19th Century.

GW Atkinson
GW Atkinson
2 months ago

Not once have I met a parent who regrets sending their child to a Welsh language school. The only regret they mention is that they weren’t offered the same opportunities as their kids.

Y Cymro
Y Cymro
2 months ago

I’m very suspicious of Dai Holt’s agenda. By him using this highly inflammatory language , ” it won’t stop English people from coming to Wales” raises alarm bells.

This is our birthright. To be educated in the medium of Welsh. It’s not prohibiting anyone. It’s about respecting Wales and the Welsh language.

I think Holt’s using this to mask his own prejudice towards the teaching of Welsh., So wants to whip up anti-Welsh hysteria in the press and no doubt on social media

Last edited 2 months ago by Y Cymro
hdavies15
hdavies15
2 months ago
Reply to  Y Cymro

Correct. Mr Holt is either an Anglo Brit supremacist or a mere pawn in their game. Either way he needs to pop up and realise what is going on around him.

Ernie The Smallholder
Ernie The Smallholder
1 month ago
Reply to  Y Cymro

I bet those people who object to Welsh (Cymraeg) being taught in schools and therefore want Wales to conform to an England culture ARE exactly those who refused to be part of the European Union.

The European Union respects Wales and Welsh culture – Let’s join the EU.
Remove ourselves from this monolithic UK.

John Davies
John Davies
2 months ago

We cannot stop English people coming to Wales, no. But it is reasonable to require them to show respect for our language, culture and identity. This is something about which the Sais are often quite blind. Their attitudes too often reek of entitlement. There is a village I know which is roughly half-and-half local and incomer. I recall one incomer lady (who had all the sensitivity of a tank, quite honestly) saying the relationship between the two halves of the community was good, except they had once had a nationalist in the village who had to be “put down”. I… Read more »

Anthony Coslett
Anthony Coslett
2 months ago

We cannot stop the Saes coming to our country certainly, but an independent Cymru will see the end of the English medium choice of education completely erased. It’s only this dated Union that has created the tensions over language that presently exist in some but reducing places. Mr. Holt seems unable to accept that his is a lost cause demonstrated not by mere speculation, as is his ‘argument’, but by facts supported by empirical science! Behind his gross campaign there lurks a fear that, like all colonialists, his day is done and the comforts and advantages he has enjoyed as… Read more »

Bardd Abertawe
2 months ago

It goes without saying that a school with only three students ought to close once three becomes zero.

Grayham Jones
2 months ago

Stop all second homes in wales 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿 take all second homes of them and give them to young welsh people who can’t get on the housing market because of incomers 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 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿 kick all English party’s out of wales 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿 welsh is the first language in wales 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿

Notta Bott
Notta Bott
2 months ago

>No more immigration! >No you can’t make the school Welsh because the English may want to come here!

Stop the count levels, result is the result

O Rob
O Rob
2 months ago

Nation. cymru, pam dileu fy sylw diweddaraf? Mae pwy bynnag sy’n cadw llygad ar/golygu y sylwadau yn chwerthinllyd. Dim byd ond sensoriaeth pathetig

O Rob
O Rob
2 months ago
Reply to  O Rob

Ymmdiheuriadau Nation.cymru, mi ddaeth fy sylw i’r golwg maes o law. Sori am fod yn fyrbwyll!

hdavies15
hdavies15
2 months ago
Reply to  O Rob

Mae’n digwydd bob hyn a hyn heb unryw esboniad

Malcolm rj
Malcolm rj
2 months ago

Don’t come to Wales if you don’t like our way of doing things stay in England where you belong

Eifion
Eifion
2 months ago

It’s always fun to change the nationalities, race and language and then play it and and think of the outrage it would cause.

But as its only Wales we are being over sensitive.

Arwyn
Arwyn
2 months ago

Everyone on this forum seem to be missing the point by a country mile. Scandalously, Ysgol Bro Hyddgen will not be a Welsh Medium School until well into the next decade! Under this latest capitulation by the governers/ Cyngor Sir Powys, the english language stream will remain until the mid 2030’s.

A’n harwr gwâr dan ddaearen – ni wêl
gywilydd Bro Hyddgen;
ei henwyr, dewr drwy’r gynnen,
ni wŷr iau gwyd faner wen.

Arwyn
Arwyn
2 months ago
Reply to  Arwyn

Gai ofyn yn gwrtais i ti beidio defnyddio’r union un enw ar dy sylwadau a finnau OGYDd?

Last edited 1 month ago by Arwyn
Crwtyn Cemais
Crwtyn Cemais
2 months ago

It’s flattering to know that many English families like Wales so much, that they might someday move here to live. If the families in question have school-age children, then before buying a house in Wales, they would be well advised to first investigate thoroughly how education in Wales differs from education in England. If they take the time do that and then realise that they DON’T wish their children to attend any degree (it varies) of Welsh-medium education, then allow me to make a helpful suggestion; go house-hunting in school catchment areas in the English counties of Cheshire, Shropshire and… Read more »

Richard
Richard
2 months ago

Choice is of course important across Education and should be maintained- — the choice of pupils of course so they can access ALL jobs and ALL services in either or both our national languages….as they so desire. As a former Chair Governors of a large Welsh Medium school in Clwyd, i rejoiced in seeing that choice offer hundreds of young people from English or other first language backgrounds an enhanced future and increased life opportunities. Those seeking to block that choice of increase opportunities should not seek to equate their own political or prejudiced views on the country they have… Read more »

Tim
Tim
1 month ago

What a strange idea this parent has! The new policy will make it easier for people moving from England to settle in and feel at home.

Gill
Gill
1 month ago

Unfortunately it is the Dic Sion Dafydds who persist in west Wales at undermining their own language. This happened in Carms with Education First led by a NATIVE welsh speaker and before that by Dr Alan Williams, and there was some similar campaign in Ceredigion. Funny how the monoglot parents of the eastern counties want to send their kids to Welsh medium school and even have them teach chemistry and maths to them in Welsh. Honestly Dai bach you and the rest of your ilk are just twp and school vertainly never did you any good or enlightened your sort

Mathew Rees
Mathew Rees
1 month ago
Reply to  Gill

If I remember rightly, the bone of contention there was the teaching of maths and science in Welsh. I attended WM schools in the 1990s and even the Welsh-speaking teachers at the schools refused to teach them in Welsh. We were given a choice of maths in Welsh and most children opted for English.

Richard
Richard
1 month ago
Reply to  Mathew Rees

I think you might find things have moved on and up mate. 😄

Wales is a more confident place now in this new century – a fact which I’m sure we both celebrate

Jeremy Sargent
Jeremy Sargent
1 month ago

Aside from the fact that I live in England but my mum was born in Wales, I have lived abroad and my daughter is trilingual. I am English, her mum is Greek and she went to a school that was Francohellenic. It only helped her to get on in life and I firmly believe that it helped her in all her subjects and it goes without saying that she now picks up foreign languages very easily as a result of her education. She also now goes to a Russel Group university. It’s parents that disagree because they are ignorant and… Read more »

Last edited 1 month ago by Jeremy Sargent

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