THE Welsh Government has today published its 10-year plan to increase the number of school staff who can teach through the medium of Welsh.

Jeremy Miles, the Minister for Education and Welsh Language, said:

“Our ambition for a million Welsh speakers by 2050 demands far-reaching changes and actions to be taken.”

The plan includes a number of actions, including to:

support Welsh-speaking graduates studying in England to return to Wales to prepare to teach;

expand the range of secondary subjects available for people who are in employment and want to train to teach;

provide support for undergraduates to have experience of being in a classroom, as a pathway into teaching;

pilot a bursary scheme to retain Welsh-medium teachers in secondary schools;

pilot gap-year teaching assistant placements for school-leavers.

The Welsh Government will provide an additional £1m this year to support the delivery of the plan, bringing the total to £9 million, with plans to increase funding over the following two years. £500,000 of the new funding will be provided to individual schools to help grow their Welsh-speaking workforce.

A commitment to introduce a 10-year plan is part of the current work programme for Cymraeg 2050, to realise the Welsh Government’s vision of a million Welsh speakers and double the daily use of Welsh by 2050. The plan will be implemented alongside local authority Welsh in education strategic plans (WESPs), to increase the number of learners in Welsh-medium education.

Current Welsh Government schemes to increase the number of Welsh-medium teachers includes Iaith Athrawon Yfory, which provides incentives of up to £5,000 for students to train to teach secondary subjects in Welsh.

Earlier this year, the Welsh Government announced it would make Welsh lessons delivered by the National Centre for Learning Welsh free to all teachers in Wales from September.

Jeremy Miles, the Minister for Education and Welsh Language, added:

“Our new curriculum puts the Welsh language at the heart of learning, but having a workforce with the right skills is vital. As well as attracting more Welsh-speakers into the profession, we must invest in the skills of our existing workforce, not only in Welsh-medium but also our English-medium schools. We will work closely with our partners to deliver this plan, which will require a concerted effort from the whole sector.

We want a Wales where more people speak and use our language in their everyday lives. Our plan to increase our Welsh-speaking education workforce is a key step towards achieving our ambition.”

By Gwynoro Jones

Former MP for Carmarthenshire, Gwynoro Jones joined the team covering politics in Wales. He has a wealth of experience in politics and has been a regular commentator on radio, TV and in newspapers in Wales. Email: gwynorojones@walesnewsonline.com

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