A letter has been sent from Ceredigion to the Welsh Parliament regarding a concern about the Welsh language in schools under the proposed Curriculum and Assessment Bill.
The joint letter was sent by Councillor Ellen ap Gwyn, Leader of Ceredigion County Council, and Councillor Catrin Miles, Cabinet Member: Schools, Lifelong Learning and Skills, Support and Intervention, for the attention of Kirsty Williams MS and Eluned Morgan MS.
The Bill notes that it will be the responsibility of individual Headteachers and Governing Bodies whether or not to immerse children in the Welsh language in the foundation phase. By today, over 80% of Ceredigion's 7 year old pupils are fully bilingual as a result of the highly effective language immersion that takes place in the foundation phase.
In the letter, Councillors Ellen ap Gwynn and Catrin Miles noted their concern that this could jeopardize the situation in Ceredigion and across Wales, “While Governing Bodies have a pivotal and key role, we do not feel that it is their role to place a Language Policy on behalf of a Local Education Authority. Indeed, giving them the right to set a policy could lead to individual school decisions that would undermine Local Authorities' Welsh Education Strategic Plans. Unfortunately, under the bill's proposal we will not be able to provide assurance that we are now in a position to meet the required targets.”
“We trust that solutions are under way in order to develop Wales as a bilingual nation in line with our aspirations."
Ceredigion County Council is dedicated to reaching a million Welsh speakers by 2050.
The Bill will be presented in The Senedd shortly.