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Welsh Government’s ambition to achieve one million Welsh speakers by 2050.

First published:
18 December 2017
Last updated:

This was published under the 2016 to 2021 administration of the Welsh Government

The plan builds on the 2010 Welsh-medium Education Strategy and sets the direction for the development of Welsh-medium and Welsh language education over the next four years with the aim of ensuring that all young people, from all backgrounds, come out of the education system ready and proud to use the language in all contexts.

The plan’s five main objectives, to be delivered by 2021, are:

  • to develop a new Welsh language curriculum that will inspire learners to learn and use the Welsh language;
  • to increase opportunities for children and young people to use their Welsh in various contexts and embed their language use patterns from an early age;
  • to support leaders and practitioners in Wales to continue to develop their Welsh language skills and have the knowledge and expertise to deliver the curriculum through the medium of Welsh and Welsh as a subject;
  • to increase the number of learners in Welsh-medium settings;
  • to ensure that all learners can have equal access to Welsh-medium education and experience the best opportunities to develop their language skills.

The Minister made the announcement at her former school, Ysgol Gyfun Gymraeg Glantaf. When the Minister attended the school it was the only Welsh-medium secondary school serving Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan. There are now three in Cardiff and one in the Vale.

Making the announcement, the Minister said:

“I was one of a handful of children from my estate in Cardiff who had my  education through the medium of Welsh and distinctly remember having stones thrown at our bus full of primary school children as they objected to having a Welsh language school in their neighbourhood. I am delighted that the attitude towards the language has changed fundamentally from when I was a child and that we now have the opportunity to build on this goodwill.

“Reaching a million Welsh speakers by 2050 is a significant challenge. Inspiring the next generation, particularly those from non-Welsh speaking families, to embrace the language and to use it in all contexts is vitally important in achieving this target.

“Whether our children attend Welsh-medium schools or learn the Welsh language in an English-medium school, education is key to the success of this ambition. This is why the Welsh in Education Action Plan is so important and why it is a priority for the rest of this Assembly term.”

During her visit, the Minister watched rehearsals for the Christmas concert and spoke to pupils and teachers, many of whom come from non Welsh speaking families, about their experience of Welsh-medium education. She said:

“My visit today highlighted the excellent all round education provided through the medium of Welsh. 61% of the pupils come from non-Welsh speaking homes but at school, all are immersed in the language, culture and traditions of their nation and they will be able to carry that with them right through their lives and pass it on to their children.”

Education Secretary, Kirsty Williams said:

“Our national mission of education reform seeks to raise standards, reduce the attainment gap and deliver an education system that enjoys public confidence and is a source of national pride. The Welsh language is integral to those reforms and this action plan will ensure that it will be at the heart of the new curriculum, the professional development of the education workforce and the reform of how we support our learners with additional learning needs.”

Head teacher of Glantaf, Alun Davies said:

“We welcome the publication of the Welsh in Education Action Plan. As a Welsh-medium school whose motto is ‘Coron Gwlad Ei Mamiaith’ which translates to 'A Country's Crown is Her Mother Tongue' we are of course committed to putting the Welsh language at the heart of school life. This action plan provides us and other schools with a framework and support to work towards ensuring all learners leave school confident to speak Welsh in everyday life”.