Venue: Siambr Dafydd Orwig, Council Offices, Caernarfon, Gwynedd, LL55 1SH. View directions
Contact: Ann Roberts 01286 679780
To receive apologies for absence.
Apologies: Councillor Owain Williams, Craig ab Iago and Dyfrig Siencyn (Cabinet Member - Welsh Language).
DECLARATION OF PERSONAL INTEREST
To receive any declaration of personal interest
1. DECLARATION OF PERSONAL INTEREST
No declarations of personal interest were received from any members present.
To present the Gwynedd Area Education Officer’s report
2. WELSH IN EDUCATION STRATEGIC PLAN - DRAFT
The Area Education Officer expressed his gratitude for the opportunity to have a further discussion on the draft of the Plan during the consultation period. It was explained that the Head of Education had worked closely with the officers to prepare the draft of the Welsh in Education Strategic Plan.
The report was submitted and members' observations on the draft Plan were sought.
A member expressed that the Plan as a whole was not extensive enough in terms of Welsh-medium teaching and that the bilingual Education Policy exacerbated the situation by either teaching through the medium of English or bilingually.
It was reported that Education Department Officers were collaborating with an External Consultant to undertake a Study that would respond to the members' questions and observations on local issues. The report following the Study, including conclusions and recommendations, was expected in January 2017.
The following observations were received from members on the Aims and Objectives and on the seven Outcomes:-
Aim and Objectives
Strengthen the third bullet point to read: "In KS2, continue to develop pupils' mastery..."
Outcome 1 - More seven year old children educated through the medium of Welsh
· Strengthen the third bullet point to secure a system that provides a firm foundation in the Welsh language before English is introduced.
· It was noted that the purpose of the meeting was to discuss the Welsh in Education Strategic Plan. Nevertheless, it was suggested that the sentence included in the current Language Policy needed to be strengthened: "the general aim of the Language Policy is bilingualism by setting firm foundations and targets".
· More challenging targets were required if the Government's target of having a million Welsh speakers in Wales by 2050 was to be achieved.
· Welsh language lessons were needed as a subject across all years in order to obtain language continuum.
· Include the need to undertake a language impact assessment before commencing the reorganisation of schools.
· Children of all ages needed to be allowed to attend Language Centres as required, not just Year 2 children and above.
Outcome 2 - More learners continuing to improve their Welsh language skills when transferring from primary to secondary school.
· More challenging targets required and a need to ensure consistency in the use of the 'second-language' definition when measuring performance against the targets.
In response to members’ questions regarding the targets, it was explained that the Education Department had local figures and targets, but that the Government's template demanded a composite target for the county.
Outcome 3 - More 14-16 year old learners studying for qualification through the medium of Welsh
Outcome 4 – More learners aged 14-19 studying subjects through the medium of Welsh in schools, colleges and work-based learning.
In response to a member’s question regarding post-16 co-operative vocational courses provided by Coleg Menai for schools in the Arfon area only, it was explained that the Plan reported on schools rather than on pupils. It was noted that the situation ... view the full minutes text for item 3.