RhAG has welcomed the launch of the Welsh Medium Education Campaign by the First Minister, Carwyn Jones today.
Lynne Davies, National Chair of RhAG, said Well RhAG is eagerly awaiting the launch of this campaign, indeed it is a historic day that marks the first Welsh Government taking ownership of the responsibility for promoting Welsh Education in Wales. It is encouraging to see the First Minister leading the launch which confirms the Welsh Government’s commitment to seeing Welsh-medium education thrive.
It is fitting and appropriate to launch the campaign at Ysgol Trelyn, Caerphilly as it underlines the current dualism facing Welsh education today. The building that houses the school is representative of the challenges facing many schools in the Welsh-medium sector in a county where there has been tremendous growth in data demand for Welsh-medium education in recent years. If real growth is to be achieved in the future capital investment must be prioritized.
The School Standards and Organization (Wales) Act 2013 places an expectation that Local Authorities are now driving growth rather than just meeting it. This is a fundamental change from the previous regime. We, therefore, hope that this year’s launch will be the start of the journey and that the campaign will develop annually with adequate funding investment. The target audience is not static, and so it is crucial that the campaign is not only dynamic but fluid, and continues to repeat the messages about Welsh education and the benefits of bilingualism from year to year. We also hope that it will bring together all the partners who work tirelessly to promote Welsh Medium Education on the ground in a joint effort.
Most importantly, it must be ensured that the core message of this campaign that Welsh parents have an alternative to their children’s education is a genuinely viable option and that Welsh counties are also acting on their duty; by ensuring that Welsh-medium provision is accessible, that there is robust progression available at all key stages and that it is available within reasonable traveling distance of the home.