The Council will begin a consultation where residents can have their say on the Welsh in Education Strategic Plan (WESP). The feedback received during this process will help further inform the WESP before it is published next year.
The consultation gets underway from Monday, September 13, and will last for eight weeks until November 8. It follows Cabinet’s decision in July for the Council to undertake an engagement process to progress the publication of the WESP by September 2022, covering a period of 10 years up to 2032. A draft version of the WESP was published alongside July’s Cabinet report.
Local Authorities in Wales must prepare a WESP, required by the School Standards and Organisation Act 2013, which contains proposals and targets to improve the planning and standards of Welsh Medium Education and teaching, and report on the progress made towards set targets in these areas.
The Council’s target in the new WESP is to increase the percentage of Year 1 learners in Welsh Medium Education by between 8% to 12% (from 506 to between 720 and 825). This target is based on methodology implemented by Welsh Government.
The WESP also includes a number of specific outcomes – ranging from more learners in nursery and reception age groups, to better provision for learners with Additional Learning Needs, more learners studying for assessed qualifications in Welsh and increasing the number of staff able to teach Welsh as a subject.
Residents can have their say in the upcoming consultation in a number of ways. There will be a dedicated page on the Current Consultations section of the website, available here – where there will be further information about the consultation and a copy of the draft WESP.
Residents can take part via email (email@example.com), telephone (01443 425014), or writing to the Council. A Freepost address will be provided on the consultation homepage. The Children and Young People Scrutiny Committee will also consider the draft WESP, playing an important role in implementing, preparing and evaluating the WESP.
Councillor Joy Rosser, Rhondda Cynon Taf Council’s Cabinet Member for Education and Inclusion Services, said: “The Council is in the process of finalising its Welsh in Education Strategic Plan, which will formalise targets to increase the number of Welsh language students over the next 10 years. As an overall target, it will aim to increase Year 1 learners in Welsh Medium Education by between 8% to 12% – while also setting a number of more specific goals, for example, to improve provision for nursery, reception and learners with ALN.
“Securing and delivering capital investment for our Welsh Medium schools is a key part of the WESP – and I’m pleased that two of our major works schemes, at YGG Aberdâr and Ysgol Rhydywaun, got underway on site earlier this summer. The respective £4.5m and £12.1m projects will deliver new facilities, while increasing the capacity of each school based on current local demand.
“The draft WESP was considered by Cabinet in July, and Members agreed for a consultation process to be undertaken by the Council – to further shape and inform it. This is being undertaken over eight weeks from September 13, as we work towards submitting the updated WESP to the Welsh Government.
“Members of the public can take part in a number of ways, including accessing the draft WESP online, and sharing their views via post or email. An important part of the process will be the consideration and input by external organisations which play key roles in implementing the WESP, along with the Council’s Children and Young People Scrutiny Committee.
“The feedback from this consultation will be collated and reported back to Cabinet Members for its final consideration in due course – before the new WESP is sent to the Welsh Government for its approval in the New Year.”
Posted on 10/09/2021