The development of Welsh language education will be halted until 2024, leaving the Welsh Government with no hope of reaching its target of having 30% of pupils in Welsh language education by 2030. This is Dyfdol i’r Iaith fear as Local Authorities present their funding applications by the end of July.
Funding applications for the development of schools should be submitted soon, with authorities presenting their applications by the end of July, for decision by the autumn. This funding is for the second round of the 21st Century Schools programme, which will allocate money for the development of schools from 2019-2024. £600 million is available from the Government, and local authorities are expected to match this sum.
Dyfodol i’r Iaith is concerned that this funding will be allocated before many of the local authorities’ Welsh Language Education Plans have been accepted by the Welsh Government. Another cause for concern is that this does not allow the local authorities time to consider the implications of the Government’s Welsh Language Strategy, which was published a week ago,
Heini Gruffudd, Dyfodol i’r Iaith’s Chair, said, “There is reason to fear that there has been a lack of co-ordination between Government departments. It seems clear to us that local authorities are making plans without their Welsh Language Plans being accepted, and, clearly, without the opportunity to consider the Government’s Welsh Language Strategy.”
“Thus, funding applications will be submitted without priority being given to Welsh language education. In the first round 21st Century Schools funding, some councils spent next to nothing on Welsh language education. This situation could recur again.”
“We call on the Government to delay the second round of the 21st Century Schools funding process, and stress that this process be linked to the authorities’ Welsh Education Plans and the Government’s Welsh Language Scheme.”