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Section 1 Your vision and aim for Welsh-medium education

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Section 1 Your vision and aim for Welsh-medium education

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    Welsh in Education Strategic Plan

    Powys County Council

    DRAFT DECEMBER 2011

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    Section 1: Vision and aim for Welsh-medium education

    Powys County Council’s vision for education is to develop an efficient and integrated learning and community infrastructure that delivers the highest quality teaching and learning, with a broad range of learning opportunities, which will enable all Powys learners to develop their skills to the highest level. This vision takes forward the aspirations of the Welsh Government for Welsh Medium education as laid out in the national

    Welsh Medium Education Strategy: Our aim is to ensure that the education system in Powys enables an increase in the number of people of all

    ages who are fluent in Welsh. It is vital that the system is flexible and responsive to the increasing demand for Welsh-medium education, and that a strong framework and policy infrastructure is developed and implemented, in order to take forward effective planning across all phases of education and training.

The key principles that underpin this Strategy are:

    - enabling an increase in the numbers of children entering Welsh Medium education through collaborative working with outside agencies

    including Twf and Mudiad Meithrin;

    - committing to supporting learners to achieve fluency in Welsh and English through Welsh-medium education from the early years

    onwards Welsh-medium education up to the age of seven will continue to be delivered primarily through the medium of Welsh;

    - ensuring robust linguistic progression through every phase of education. In the secondary sector (11 16) we aim to achieve this by

    making sure that Welsh-medium education is of a consistent standard and provides equal opportunities across five schools (Brecon,

    Builth Wells, Bro Ddyfi, Caereinion and Llanfyllin). It is planned that these schools will all become 2 B Schools;

    - creating sustainable opportunities for learners to access a wide-ranging Welsh-medium curriculum at post-16, by creating three Welsh

    Medium Centres of Excellence at Caereinion, Bro Ddyfi and Builth Wells High Schools to serve their wider families of schools, and

    working with partners within the outside the county to develop Welsh-medium vocational opportunities;

    - ensuring that all learners in English-medium settings benefit from opportunities to develop their language skills by raising standards in

    the teaching and learning of Welsh second language. This will be achieved by developing improved bilingual teaching strategies and

    methodologies, as well as developing immersion projects for pupils in English medium streams;

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    - Supporting Welsh medium schools to become centres for adult, community and cultural Welsh language activities, in order to foster

    increased awareness of the benefits of Welsh Medium education and to enable parents/carers to learn alongside their children, in an

    informal and welcoming environment;

    - Supporting all schools to develop their individual Welsh ethos;

    This Strategy will take forward a range of actions that are designed explicitly to foster growth in the uptake of Welsh Medium education to the point where the question of establishing a designated Welsh Medium secondary school can be actively and seriously considered.

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    Section 2: The Action Plan

Outcome 1: More seven-year-old children being taught through the medium of Welsh

    A. Objective B. Current performance C. Timetable of future plans D.

     All actions will be Progress

    implemented between 2012 report

    and 2015, unless specified

    separately.

    1.1 Increase the Based on PLASC information, the percentage of year 2 pupils 2012 2013: number of seven-year-being taught through the medium of Welsh across Powys for Families of schools to old children taught the last three years is as follows: develop and implement through the medium of strategies, which include all Welsh stakeholders, to promote the 2008-2009-2010-

     benefits of Welsh medium 2009 2010 2011

    education North Powys 24% 22% 21%

     Mid / South Powys 14% 13% 13%

    Continue to work with MYM to Powys Total 19% 18% 17%

    promote entry to WM

    education and coordinate Although the current trend has seen a reduction in the

    MYM, TWF activities in local percentage of year 2 pupils taught through the medium of

    areas Welsh, information about the year 1 cohort in 2010-2011

     suggests that the percentage will increase this year. Although

     there are fluctuations, the percentage has remained more or

     less consistent.

    To increase capacity of WM As a Local Authority, it is recognised that the rate of growth of

    education in: Welsh medium education in Powys has been considerably

    - The Upper Tawe

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    lower than some other local authorities in Wales. However, Valley

    the Authority’s School Modernisation programme, along with - The Upper Severn the Welsh in Education Strategic Plan, will ensure that Welsh Valley

    medium education is central to the Authority’s vision for 21st

    century education. It is the intention that the Authority creates

    an environment where Welsh medium education can grow in

    a sustainable way.

    Through the school modernisation programme, the Authority Implement the proposals of is investing in Welsh medium education, in order to meet the the secondary modernisation increasing demand. Two significant projects are currently programme

    being developed.

A significant factor limiting the growth in the number of seven 2012-2013:

    year old children being taught through the medium of Welsh is Case studies to analyse the lack of coherent progression from key stage 2 to key reasons for the growth of stage 3 and beyond across the county. It is intended that the Welsh medium education in School Modernisation Programme will address this issue by specific areas, and develop ensuring linguistic continuity across all key stages. an action plan to develop and

     target schools where Welsh In line with the Authority’s Community Services Strategy, we medium education is not will ensure that Welsh medium and dual stream schools demonstrating growth

    become focal points for the delivery of other Welsh language

    services, so as to increase awareness of the benefits of 2012 2013

    Welsh medium education. In conjunction with MYM, to

     investigate the possibility of

     the establishment of at least

     one Cylch Meithrin in every

    secondary school catchment

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    area.

1.2 Adopt systematic Within Powys, there are currently enough Welsh-medium Continue to measure demand

    processes for early years places available to meet the demand, and most every two years, by adopting measuring the children are able to access funded early years provision a targeted process, based on demand for Welsh-within their local communities. However, there are currently families of schools, and use medium childcare and no Welsh medium early years funded settings for 3 year old the data collected to provide Welsh-medium children in the Presteigne, Gwernyfed and Crickhowell primary schools with the statutory educational catchments. relevant information.

    provision. Act promptly

    on the findings of The Authority commissioned ORS to carry out a survey to Continue to measure demand parental surveys. measure the demand for Welsh medium education during the through the Primary Area

     Autumn Term 2010. The results have helped inform primary Reviews.

    and secondary modernisation programmes.

     Continue to work with MYM

    Information about the demand for Welsh medium education in and TWF to promote entry to

    individual areas is collected as part of the School WM education and inform

    Modernisation reviews undertaken across Powys. primary schools of results.

    2014: 2020 1.3 Ensure that Powys’ 21st Century Schools Strategic Outline Programme

    Delivery of the identified capital proposals for 21st sets out the Authority’s plans to transform its whole schools

    investment priorities within the Century Schools estate for its future learners and wider communities over the

    Strategic Outline Programme as include full next 25 years. Underpinning the SOP is the Powys School

    funding is made available. consideration of Modernisation Programme, which is an extensive review and

    reconfiguration of the primary, secondary and post-16 Welsh-medium

    education. sectors.

    The priority capital investment needs identified would enable the

    further delivery of additional Welsh medium provision to

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    match the continuing growth in demand.

    1.4 Ensure The Authority has established relationships with partners in Monitor the outcomes and collaborative working neighbouring authorities. This has resulted in Neath Port effectiveness of partnerships through consortia. Talbot providing secondary and post-16 Welsh Medium

     education to pupils in South Powys. A post-16 partnership Further develop partnerships

     has been developed between Ysgol Bro Ddyfi and schools in with neighbouring authorities

    North Ceredigion and between Ysgol Uwchradd Caereinion

    and Coleg Meirion Dwyfor

    In terms of planning school places, the Authority enters into

    discussions with its neighbouring authorities if a Primary Area

    Review takes place in a border area. Discussions are also on-

    going with neighbouring authorities in terms of the Secondary

    and Post-16 Modernisation Programme. This includes

    examining proposals to avoid duplication

    of provision and exploring possibilities in terms of sharing

    resources.

    The Authority is concerned that there is no SWAMWAC group 2012- 2013

    that deals specifically with Welsh Medium education, and will Ensure that WM education is

    enter into dialogue to establish such a group. addressed at regional

     consortia level by entering

     into dialogue with other

    authorities within SWAMWAC 1.5 Increase the ability There are no language centres for latecomers in Powys. To continue to provide the to take advantage of Support is provided to all latecomers to Welsh-medium usual Athrawon Bro support Welsh-medium education in the primary sector in respose to requests from structures for the period of provision through individual schools. Priority is given to pupils in year 2 and two years for latecomers

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    immersion education above. The support is a combination of teacher support and

    schemes and centres classroom assistant support. On average, approximately 16

    for latecomers. pupils receive this support in any school year. The support is

     normally for a period of 2 years, by which time the pupils are

    expected to be able to follow the whole curriculum through the

    medium of Welsh. The aim is that every pupil will follow the

    Welsh first language programme of study on transition to

    secondary school, together with subjects through the medium

    of Welsh, although this will be dependent on the age of the

    pupil on arrival in Welsh medium primary education.

    There may be some potential to work with neighbouring

    authorities to access their centres for latecomers.

    There are no formal arrangements for supporting latecomers 2012 2013

    to WM education in the secondary sector. However, three Explore models of best

    secondary schools (Ysgol Bro Ddyfi, Llanfyllin High School practice in order to develop a

    and Builth Wells High School) offered late immersion standard approach to

    programmes in Summer 2011 for Yr.6 pupils to enable them supporting latecomers

    to enter Welsh medium education. This was funded by the wishing to access Welsh

    Welsh Language Board. medium in secondary

     education

    The Local Authority is committed to developing partnerships

    with the secondary schools which offer Welsh medium

    provision through specific projects in partnership with feeder

    primary schools.

    1.6 Establish a Welsh-The Powys Children and Young People's Single Plan is the 2012 2013

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    medium Education main framework for delivering and improving services to the Establish a Welsh-medium Forum and establish children and young people of Powys. Education Forum and create links with the Children a formal protocol for the

    and Young People’s It is envisaged that this WESP will sit beneath the Children forum regarding constitution, Plan. Ensure and Youg People’s Single Plan, and a Welsh-medium reporting procedures to

    considerations for Education Forum will be established to monitor the progress CYPP, implementation resources and finance of the WESP. This will allow for increased cohesion amongst strategies

    for Welsh-medium the providers of WM education and bring a distinct

    provision within early improvement to the direct planning of WM education in future.

    years.

    One of the responsibilities of this Forum will be to ensure that

    WM education and the aims of the WESP are embedded

    within all key strategies and operational plans, both within the

    Authority and with its partners.

    The draft WESP has been developed with input from primary

    and secondary headteachers and other stakeholders, and will

    also be the subject of a public consultation exercise in the

    spring term 2012.

    1.7 Provide Information is provided to parents in the Council’s Admissions Review booklet on an annual information for Booklet, which all parents receive before applying for a basis

    parents/carers primary school place for their child. As well as giving

     background information about Welsh-medium education, the Continue to raise awareness

    booklet includes information about the Welsh Government’s of the benefits of Welsh

    categories for defining schools according to their Welsh medium education

    medium provision, and lists all primary and secondary schools

    in Powys according to their category. Explore the possibility of

     using Powys’ social media

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    In addition, Powys County Council has produced an outlets to raise awareness of information booklet for prospective parents, entitled ‘Have you Welsh medium education

    considered Welsh medium education for your child?’. The

    booklet provides information about the Welsh medium

    provision currently available in Powys, and provides contact details for other organisations, as well as attempting to answer questions parents might have about Welsh medium education.

    The booklet has been distributed to schools, libraries, leisure centres and council buildings, and is also available through TWF and MYM and is available on the Council’s website. The booklet was also sent to parents of all children born between 1st September 2007 and 31st August 2008 with a survey to

    measure the demand for Welsh medium education.

The Council’s admissions booklet refers to the fact that

    Welsh-medium secondary education for pupils from the Ystradgynlais area is provided out of county at Ysgol Gyfun Ystalyfera.

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