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Plans to grow number of Welsh speakers go to cabinet

Plans to continue to grow the number of Welsh speakers in Swansea and increase their opportunities to use the language are going before the council's cabinet next week.

Abc blocks - generic education pic

Abc blocks - generic education pic

During the autumn people and organisations across the city were asked for their views on the council's 10-year Welsh in Education Strategic Plan.

The feedback has been used to update the document which sets out how Swansea will play its part in helping the Welsh Government achieve its target of one million Welsh speakers by the year 2050. 

Swansea Council aims to increase provision for Welsh-medium education in the city including for pre-school children and for post 16 study for both academic and vocational courses. 

During the last 20 years the number of pupils in Swansea accessing Welsh medium education has doubled from 2,581 in 2001 to 5,228 at the start of last year. 

This has been supported by the opening of a further three Welsh-medium primary schools and one additional Welsh-medium comprehensive school bringing the numbers to 10 and 2 respectively. 

Thanks to the 21st Century Schools Programme, which is jointly funded by Swansea Council and the Welsh Government, a record £170m is currently being invested to improve school buildings and facilities across both Welsh and English medium schools. 

This includes additional Welsh-medium places which have been created with the opening of the new and enhanced accommodation for YGG Tan-y-lan and YGG Tirdeunaw.

A new teaching block and enhanced sports facilities have been completed at YG Gwyr and remodelling of some existing facilities at the school is on-going.

Additional classroom space at YGG Bryn y Môr and YGG Y Login Fach will follow and the council will also continue to work with early providers to increase the provision for pre-school Welsh language provision. 

The plan also sets how the council will work with partners to increase opportunities for young people to use their Welsh language skills outside of school and how it will build on good work being done in English medium schools to teach Welsh.

Swansea Council Cabinet Member for Education Improvement, Learning and Skills, Robert Smith, said: "I would like to thank all those who took the time to take part in the consultation and for giving us their views on our 10 year plan and where it could be improved.

"The Welsh Government has set a target of growing the number of Welsh speakers to one million by the year 2050 and Swansea is keen to play its part.

"The strategic plan that is going to cabinet is an ambitious document that sets out our determination to encourage greater use of the Welsh language and how we intend to achieve this.

"The number of pupils being taught through the medium of Welsh in our schools has increased markedly and our strategic plan sets out how we will build on this success as well as the many other ways we will support the growth of bilingualism.

"In promoting bilingualism, we are giving all our children an opportunity to thrive in the language of their choice, increasing their life opportunities and by learning more than one language, facilitating the learning of other languages." 

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