The Welsh Government is investing an extra £4.2 million to support the teaching and learning of Welsh and subjects through the medium of Welsh.
A new one-year pilot sabbatical scheme for primary teachers to develop their Welsh-language skills will be delivered. This new pilot will be added to the range of courses currently delivered across Wales.
Additional money will also be provided to Regional Education consortia to undertake a programme of work which will include mapping the Welsh language skills of the workforce; mentoring and school-to-school support; and providing a programme of Welsh language professional learning for practitioners.
The full allocations are as follows:
£1,200,000 to support the provision and expansion of the national sabbatical scheme
A new one-year pilot sabbatical scheme course for primary teachers to develop their Welsh-language skills will be delivered. As part of the full-time course, teachers will be released from school to significantly develop their Welsh-language skills, reflecting the increased expectations that will be placed on all schools as part of the introduction the Welsh language continuum.
£600,000 to improve Welsh language skills of learners through informal opportunities
A programme of support will be developed to help English-medium schools to improve learners’ Welsh language skills to ensure that children and young people have more opportunities to use their Welsh language skills in an authentic and constructive way beyond Welsh language lessons.
£50,000 to attract Welsh-medium graduates
We recognise there is a need to recruit more graduates into teaching in the Welsh-medium sector and to teach Welsh as a subject. A campaign, in conjunction with key stakeholders will be developed with a view to targeting undergraduates to go into teaching. This funding will be directed to the Discover Teaching campaign.
£2,055,000 for education consortia to support professional learning for Welsh language and Welsh-medium practitioners
Each regional education consortium will receive an allocation to support the professional development of practitioners’ Welsh language skills and teaching pedagogy.
Consortia will be required to undertake a programme of work which includes mapping the Welsh language skills of the workforce; identifying practitioners to take part in the Sabbatical scheme; mentoring and school-to-school support; sharing effective practice, and providing a programme of Welsh language professional learning for practitioners.
£200,000 to be allocated to undertake research
There is a need for research to ensure a sound evidence base for the proposed language continuum and effective pedagogy for teaching the language.
This money will deliver a programme of research and evaluation to support Welsh in education and to develop capacity to promote a vibrant research culture in the areas of Welsh-medium education and language acquisition.
Education Secretary Kirsty Williams said:
“Developing a teaching workforce to teach Welsh and deliver education through the medium of Welsh is essential in creating more Welsh speakers and will be a priority over the next 5 years.
“This means planning to support the development of teachers and assistants and expanding the sabbatical scheme and other professional learning opportunities for the present workforce. Well crafted and delivered professional development is important because it delivers benefits to the individual, their profession and the public.
“This investment aligns with our proposals for new teaching standards in Wales which will provide opportunities for teachers to develop their skills throughout their career to meet the needs of the education system.”