Welsh in Education Strategic 10 year Plan 2022 - 2032
- Meeting of Education, Youth & Culture Overview & Scrutiny Committee, Thursday, 2nd December, 2021 2.00 pm (Item 34.)
- View the background to item 34.
That the Education, Youth & Culture Overview & Scrutiny Committee note the draft consultation for the Welsh in Education Strategic Plan 2022-2032
Prior to the introduction of the report, Councillor Tudor Jones commented on the Council’s commitment to increase the number of ‘fluent Welsh speakers’ within its schools and extending those Welsh language skills into the wider community. He suggested that the word ‘fluent’ be removed as he felt that by removing the need for fluent welsh speakers this would ensure greater participation. He felt that the term ‘conversational Welsh’ would be more appropriate. Councillor Jones provided the accepted definitions for the terms ‘fluent’ and ‘conversational’ speakers.
In response, the Senior Manager for School Improvement thanked Councillor Jones for his suggestion and agreed to feedback this suggestion as part of the consultation process. Both the Leader of the Council and Chief Officer (Education & Youth) spoke in support of the suggestion made by Councillor Jones. The Facilitator said that the suggestion made by Councillor Jones would be picked up as an action from the meeting.
The Senior Manager presented the report which provided the Committee with an overview of the draft plan for the next Welsh in Education Strategic Plan (WESP) which would run from September 2022 until 2032. The first ten year plan would commence on 1 September 2022 and expire on 31 August 2032 and the Plan would have to include a target outlining the expected increase in the number of Year 1 learners taught through the medium of Welsh in the local authority area during the lifespan of the Plan. During the COVID-19 pandemic the Welsh in Education Strategic Plans (Wales) Regulations 2019 were amended, therefore, the current Flintshire WESP cycle was extended by one year and would conclude by September 2022.
The Senior Manager provided information on the well-established and effective Welsh Strategic Forum, which met termly with work programmes developed. The remit of the Forum was outlined within the report.
Councillor Martin White thanked the Senior Manager for the report. He referred to a recent visit to Connah’s Quay High School where during a tour of the classroom, all introductions were firstly made in Welsh. He welcomed this and said it had been pleasing to hear an increase in Welsh being spoken across the School.
The Chief Officer thanked the Senior Manager for her hard work as the Strategic lead for the Flintshire Welsh in Education Strategy. She outlined the work of Ms. Sian Hilton, a former Head Teacher in Denbighshire in galvanising the Forum to ensure all the documentation was in place to create a pathway for the plan and said that it would not have been possible to meet the deadline for consultation set by WG without the hard work of Ms. Hilton and the Senior Manager. The Senior Manager thanked the Chief Officer for her comments and said that there had been a team effort within the Forum. She thanked Councillor White for his comments and advised the Committee that this was replicated in Schools across Flintshire, with a dedicated team of Welsh Advisory Teachers supporting Schools.
The Leader of the Council thanked all who had contributed to the WESP and outlined the importance of the Council in increasing the number of Welsh speakers across Flintshire. He explained that his interest in the Welsh language had stemmed from his first visit to the Urdd Eisteddfod as a child and said that all children across Flintshire should be encouraged to attend future Eisteddfodau in the area.
The recommendation, as outlined within the report, was moved and seconded by Councillor Tudor Jones and Councillor Martin White.
That the Education, Youth & Culture Overview & Scrutiny Committee note the draft consultation for the Welsh in Education Strategic Plan 2022-2032.