Annual Review Report of the Welsh in Education Strategic Plan (WESP).
Author Debbie Anne Williams
To accept the
To accept the
The Cabinet Member for Education introduced the
report, and drew attention to the challenging period that schools had faced
during the lockdown periods. In relation to the Welsh language in schools, it
was noted that there would be future challenges as children had missed out on
being part of a Welsh environment in the school and the classroom.
The Corporate Education Services Manager gave an overview of the annual
report on the department's operation.
She emphasised that the focus of the report this time was on procedures rather than data.
She explained that the report's content summarised the
methods used to cope with the changes in education. The Language Centres had
faced the challenges of continuing to provide a Welsh experience to the
children, and had taken advantage of the opportunity to innovate by using live
learning sessions. She further added that these approaches ensured that the
Welsh language reached the learners' homes in order to maintain their language
skills. In addition to supporting learners, she noted that the Welsh Language
in Education Strategy had another priority, namely to support a confident
workforce in relation to the Welsh language.
The Head of the Education Department added that the
use of the Welsh language was one of the main challenges facing schools as they
re-opened, and they noted an element of concern about the decline.
thematic review was discussed, and it was emphasised that Gwynedd's
arrangements had been recognised as an example of good practice. He referred
directly to the innovative approaches used by the language centres to provide
education over the lockdown period, which had received national recognition.
were given an opportunity to ask questions and offer observations. During the discussion, the following matters were
The Department was congratulated on the innovative
approaches used, that had been recognised as good practice, and it was
emphasised that the Welsh language was facing increasing pressure as distance
It was noted that the authority had obviously taken
valuable steps to protect the Welsh language in the face of difficult
Members were reminded of their important roles as
school governors, and of their influence on the efforts to maintain the Welsh
language within the classroom and beyond.
response to some of the above observations and questions, the Education
Corporate Services Manager noted:-
It was positive to hear elected members appreciating
and recognising the work undertaken in schools and language centres in Gwynedd
to protect the language.
It was intended to establish a baseline to assess the
situation of the language following the return of all learners to the
The Head of Education Department added that the
Education Department had been asked to lead a piece of cross-departmental work
with partners such as GwE, Mudiad Meithrin,
the Health Service and Further Education centres. He added that the work's aim
would be to identify areas where a well-being gap had appeared due to Covid-19.
He noted that the next steps would be to create an
action plan to identify definite milestones to signify how the situation could
He added that the outcome of the research would be
shared with this committee.
He explained that there were a number of methods employed
by schools to limit the decline of the Welsh language. He provided examples,
such as ensuring that learners had the necessary technology to take advantage
of live stream lessons, and providing parents with bilingual guidance.