WQ90923 (e) Tabled on 31/01/2024

How is the Welsh Government working with local authorities to facilitate more opportunities for students at English-medium schools to utilise and practice their Welsh-language skills?

Answered by Minister for Education and the Welsh Language | Answered on 08/02/2024

We work with local authorities staff to offer the Siarter Iaith Cymraeg Campus programme to English medium (Category 1) and Dual language (Category 2) primary and secondary schools, as well as T2 schools, which are schools on a gradual transition from a Category 1 to a Category 2 school. Siarter Iaith Cymraeg Campus programme encourages the use of informal Welsh in school age children and young people and aims to inspire them to use Welsh in all aspects of their lives. The programme works to ensure that teachers and other stakeholders have the knowledge and skills to encourage use of Welsh in school, at home and in the community.

Urdd Gobaith Cymru, to whom we give an annual grant provides invaluable opportunities to children and young people to use more Welsh by offering opportunities ranging from digital activities, volunteering and accreditations, youth boards and forums and various international experiences all through the medium of Welsh. We also fund Dydd Miwsig Cymru to organise a national celebration of Welsh language music as a means of promoting our language. Lesson plans for Dydd Miwsig Cymru are shared via our school newsletter, on social media and on our website.

We recognise that the education system leads to different linguistic outcomes in Welsh depending on the medium of education. The First Minister announced in June 2023 the intention to introduce a Welsh Language Education Bill during this legislative year, i.e. before the 2024 Summer recess. The Bill will take steps to enable all pupils in Wales to become independent Welsh speakers through the statutory education system.

This work is being carried out in collaboration with Cefin Campbell, the Plaid Cymru designated member, as part of the Co-operation Agreement between the Welsh Government and Plaid Cymru.