Welsh in Education Strategic Plan

Outcome 7

Increase the number of teaching staff able to teach Welsh (as a subject) and teach through the medium of Welsh

Where are we now:

  • In the Welsh medium sector, approximately 50% of headteachers will reach retirement age during the course of the WESP.
  • On the basis of the findings of the workforce Skills Census, preparatory and initial activity has taken place to strengthen the linguistic profile of staff in all primary schools.
    • A handbook with guidance to move along the pathway to fluency in Welsh has been created and shared with all schools. We have worked with primary schools to use this booklet to plan a specific target for developing Welsh language skills based on each staff member's current skill level that is achievable and accountable.
    • Teachers and support staff in all of the county's primary Welsh medium settings were targeted to complete a bespoke ‘Gloywi Iaith’ course with Rhagoriaith recently. All English medium settings were asked to plan the next steps in learning for each staff member focussing especially on targeting staff who have no Welsh skills to complete an online W1 course with Work Welsh.
    • As part of our commitment to ensuring that we are developing the Welsh skills of a larger number of staff than available places on the Sabbatical Scheme, we are piloting a Welsh for Adults course to move 15 teachers and 5 support staff along the Welsh continuum.
    • Schools that are changing their linguistic category have been provided with targeted linguistic support by attending the Welsh sabbatical scheme courses and support by the Advisory Teacher. The Advisory Teacher and lead for Welsh has also worked with the schools to systematically develop the skills and confidence of the schools workforce

What we will do:

  • The council will undertake an audit to review current and future vacancies of teaching and support staff to support recruitment and retention of staffing.
  • We will continue to work with Rhagoriaith at the University of Wales Trinity St David to ensure that the Welsh language Sabbatical Scheme is used strategically to meet the needs of schools especially those where there will be changes in the amount of Welsh taught which will affect the skills needs of staff.
  • The council will undertake an audit to review and reflect changes in school type and linguistic designation across all phases.
  • The council will continue to support non-subject specialist staff to improve their knowledge and skills by attending regional training and support
  • The Local Authority will identify potential leaders at an early stage. Support for aspiring headteachers and middle leaders through regional programme of support will be a priority area. Where there is a lack of high quality recruitment, the Authority will consider collaborating with governing bodies to federate schools in order to ensure leadership of the highest standard.
  • We will work with the Consortium who is working closely with Initial Teacher Training and Education (ITET) providers to develop jointly-delivered (by schools and HEIs) programmes for newly qualified teachers to reflect the requirements of the new curriculum and the development of a suitably qualified workforce to deliver the Welsh continuum.
  • We will systematically develop the skills and confidence of our school workforce by working with partners (ERW, Rhagoriaith, National Centre for Learning Welsh) to deliver training programmes with a specific focus on teaching through the medium of Welsh.
  • Our Welsh Language Development Officer and ERW will provide post-course support for practitioners that have participated in the Sabbatical scheme. We will also implement a Language Champion mentor program where following the completion of the sabbatical, these practitioners will become language champions and mentor other practitioners to increase their confidence in speaking Welsh, teaching through the medium of Welsh, or teaching Welsh as a subject in English medium schools.
  • We will ensure that schools target Welsh skills development within school development plans within the context of improving standards to ensure that there is a strong focus on prioritising continuous professional development which includes improving linguistic skills.
  • Challenge Advisers will monitor School Development Plans to ensure that leaders plan to improve the linguistic skills of the workforce. Workforce results will also be shared with Challenge Advisers to support monitoring.
  • We will continue to use workforce data to continue to design professional learning programmes which reflect our local workforce needs. We will continue to encourage the use of freely available online Work Welsh courses to strengthen staff Welsh skills and target individuals to complete Welsh for Adults courses in order to move along the language continuum.
  • As part of the Council’s Welsh Language Strategy (2021-2026), we will:
    • Continue to provide Welsh language community learning opportunities for adults;
    • Support improvements in digital connectivity and opportunities to use the Welsh language online;
    • Increase opportunities for Welsh speakers and learners within the County Council to use Welsh within their everyday working environment.
  • We will encourage the governors of every school to include a report on the Welsh language in their annual report to parents. We will also during our training sessions for school Governors on this strategy, raise awareness of the need for bilingual skills and that monitoring the upskilling of their staff is key.
  • Access to the Welsh language sabbatical scheme will be targeted at priority areas as identified in this strategic plan. As schools move along the continuum and increase the amount of Welsh taught, training such as the sabbatical scheme will be used strategically to support the skills development of teachers and teaching assistants.

The Strategic Lead for Welsh and Welsh Language Development Officer will provide workplace training for staff in schools that have been targeted based on the need/intention to change linguistic categories.


ID: 9011, revised 02/09/2022