Skip to main content

Section 1: What action is the Welsh Government considering and why?

The Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015 requires public bodies across Wales named in the Act to work towards 7 well-being goals, one of which is ‘A Wales of Vibrant Culture and Thriving Welsh Language’. The Welsh Government has a duty to promote and facilitate the use of Welsh and work towards the other well-being goals.

Cymraeg 2050

The Welsh Government's ambition is to create a million Welsh speakers by 2050. This is a long-term vision and the education system has a vital role to play in achieving this ambition. Specifically to:

  • increase the number of learners in Welsh-medium or bilingual education
  • ensure every learner in Wales has the opportunity to develop their skills in Welsh sufficiently to use it socially and at work
  • increase the number of teachers competent to teach Welsh as a subject and other subjects through the medium of Welsh in order to enable the two objectives above

In order to achieve this vision we need to ensure a sufficient Welsh-medium education workforce in order to grow Welsh-medium education for learners and we need to develop the Welsh language skills of all practitioners to support the implementation of the new curriculum for Wales. Cymraeg 2050 sets the following targets for increasing the number of teachers who can teach Welsh or through the medium of Welsh.

Teacher numbers

Number of primary teachers who teach through the medium of Welsh

2015 to 2016 baseline


2021 target


2031 target


2050 target


Number of secondary teachers who teach Welsh as a subject

2015 to 2016 baseline


2021 target


2031 target


2050 target


Secondary teachers who teach subjects through the medium of Welsh

2015 to 2016 baseline


2021 target


2031 target


2050 target


Developing the Welsh language skills of our practitioners and their ability to teach Welsh and through the medium of Welsh is essential to meet the aims of Cymraeg 2050. However alongside this, retaining our existing practitioners is also a high priority.

Table 1 below shows the number of first years on ITE courses in Wales training to teach in Welsh by school level and year.

Table 2 shows the number of teachers leaving the profession. While the number of Welsh-medium Primary teachers training each year is on track, or surplus to, the 103 teachers needed to meet the 2031 targets, the number studying to be secondary teachers through the medium of Welsh has consistently been falling well short of 119 teachers needed to meet the 2031 targets. Coupled with the 130 teachers that have left the profession between 2019 to 2020, it is clear action needs to be taken not only to increase the number of teachers being trained but also that we take steps to encourage teachers to remain within the profession.

A detailed analysis of the data was published along with the Welsh in education workforce plan. This fully sets out the challenge in terms of ensuring we have sufficient Welsh-medium secondary teachers. This document will be updated every two years and this pilot will feed into that overall measure of progress.

Table 1: First years on ITE courses in Wales training to teach in Welsh by school level and year

2015 to 2016

2016 to 2017

2017 to 2018

2018 to 2019

2019 to 2020







Primary School






Secondary School






Table 2: Classroom teachers that have left a teaching role in Welsh-medium primary and secondary schools between 2019 and 2020 (a)




Category of leavers







Total number of leavers







Of the total number of leavers


Teachers that have left the profession







Teachers that have moved to non-teaching role







Teachers that moved to Middle School







Teachers that have moved to English-medium school








The Cymraeg 2050 workplan for 2021-26 committed us to develop and implement a 10-year plan for increasing the number of Welsh and Welsh-medium teachers and improving the linguistic skills of the education workforce so that the local needs of each county can be met in accordance with their Welsh in Education Strategic Plans. The Welsh in Education Workforce Plan (the Plan) was published in May 2022 and requires Welsh Government to refine and embed some of our key policies and ensure that all stakeholders work together to achieve our aims.

The Welsh Government has introduced an incentive to encourage more people to train as a teacher in the Welsh-medium sector. The Iaith Athrawon Yfory scheme is specifically for those training to be Welsh-medium or Welsh as a subject secondary teachers. Students can also access the priority subject incentive if they are preparing to teach certain secondary subjects. This new bursary will be a further payment for those who have remained within the profession.

One of the long-term considerations of the Plan is to understand the whole journey in becoming and remaining a teacher not just focusing on initial teacher education (ITE). One of the actions included in the Plan is to introduce a pilot Bursary scheme aimed at encouraging Welsh-medium and Welsh as a subject secondary teachers to remain in the profession.


The aim of the Bursary is to reduce the number of trained secondary teachers leaving the profession by providing a retention payment to a specific cohort of Welsh-medium teachers and teachers of Welsh after three years of teaching. We will study pilot data to see if this scheme does result in fewer Welsh medium teachers and teachers of Welsh leaving the system and whether there is subsequent impact on the English medium sector.


This bursary is one of a number of actions set out in the Plan to increase the number of Welsh-medium teachers, support their development and retain them within the profession. The Plan looks at the whole pipeline of creating teachers. Actions set out in the plan include targeting pupils at a much younger age to promote teaching as a profession and encouraging more pupils to choose Welsh at A-level. Then moving through to encouraging undergraduates studying through the medium of English or in England to return to Wales for their PGCE and undertake ITE through the medium of Welsh. Following on from that the Plan looks at teacher retention and professional development right through to policies to support the development of sufficient Welsh-medium leaders.


Collaboration has been integral to the development of the Plan. The key partners include teaching unions, local education authorities, ITE providers, CYDAG, Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol and others. They have been fully involved in its development, including the inclusion of this Bursary as an action, and the roles and responsibilities of those integral to its delivery are clearly defined in the plan. In addition, we have worked with headteachers, local authorities, EWC and other stakeholders to develop this bursary.


The Plan has been co-created with key stakeholders and partners through a task and finish group. Members have been closely involved in defining the problems, developing ideas and solutions and will be integral in its delivery. We have also met a number of wider stakeholders during development to ensure we fully understand the issues and the Plan includes achievable actions. We have specifically discussed a retention bursary with head teachers who are struggling to fill posts and EWC, who will have a role in monitoring this scheme alongside their role in administering Iaith Athrawon Yfory.

In addition to the five ways of working above, consider the following areas:


We hope the Bursary will have an impact on the number of Welsh and Welsh-medium secondary teachers in the secondary sector leaving the profession. The pilot will be reviewed on an ongoing basis during the period. We will use these outcomes to develop and define future policy during the 5 years of the pilot.

Costs and Savings

The Bursary is not intended to bring savings at this point. The main purpose of the bursary is to encourage Welsh-medium teachers to remain in the profession. This is because we are not training enough teachers to meet the targets set out in Cymraeg 2050 and with a number of teachers also leaving the profession we are falling well short of the required numbers.


Applicants will be required to apply for the bursary. The window for applications will open on 1st September each year. Those who believe they are eligible should apply by 30 September. Successful applicants will be informed during October and the bursary will be paid along with the applicant’s salary by December.

Any teacher that does not have 3 academic years of service when the application window opens may apply in subsequent years once the length of service has been reached.

No additional legislation will be needed to deliver this scheme.

Section 8: Conclusion

How have people most likely to be affected by the proposal been involved in developing it?

Introducing a retention bursary is an action included in the Welsh in education workforce plan which was published in May 22. The plan was co-developed with key stakeholders including teaching unions and headteachers. We have also had further discussion about the bursary with headteachers and the external group tasked with monitoring the Plan. An evaluation and further consultation may be undertaken at the end of the pilot to inform its future.

What are the most significant impacts, positive and negative?

This is a pilot programme to try and encourage Welsh and Welsh-medium secondary teachers to remain in the profession. If successful, the programme will mean that fewer teachers are leaving the profession and will be a step forward in meeting the targets set out in Cymraeg 2050. The negative impacts may be in the morale of teachers not eligible for the bursary, including those who miss out on the bursary because they qualified as a teacher prior to 2020, are teachers in English-medium or primary schools. However, there are existing schemes such as the sabbatical scheme aimed at supporting those in English-medium to improve Welsh language skills. There are also other incentive schemes such as BAME and shortage subjects that are available to non-Welsh speakers.

In light of the impacts identified, how will the proposal:

  • maximise contribution to our well-being objectives and the seven well-being goals and/or
  • avoid, reduce or mitigate any negative impacts?

The bursary aims to increase the number of Welsh and Welsh-medium teachers staying within the profession. If we are to meet the targets set out in Cymraeg 2050, retaining teachers is as important as training sufficient numbers of new ones. There are likely to be negative impacts to the teachers not eligible for the bursary. However, the challenges facing the Welsh medium secondary schools in recruiting teachers are set out in the Welsh in education workforce plan and supporting data document and the case for supporting secondary Welsh and Welsh-medium teachers to remain in the profession is clear. Most areas of Wales are already facing shortages in secondary teachers and the number of teachers training to teach Welsh or through the medium of Welsh in secondary schools is falling far short of the number required to meet the targets set out in Cymraeg 2050. If we are to meet these targets retaining teachers must be tackled as well as training sufficient numbers of new teachers.

How will the impact of the proposal be monitored and evaluated as it progresses and when it concludes? 

The pilot programme will be monitored in relation to the numbers applying for the bursary, and retention numbers over the 5 years of the pilot duration. We will monitor any negative effects on the co-horts not eligible such as primary and English-medium schools. Also we will gather qualitative feedback from schools and teachers themselves. We will track statistics gathered through the School Workforce Annual Census to track the number of teachers leaving the profession. The bursary will be reviewed at the end of the pilot before recommendations are made to the Independent Wales Pay Review Body.

Children’s rights impact assessment

Policy objectives

The policy objective is to retain more secondary teachers in Welsh-medium and bilingual schools and teachers of Welsh in English-medium schools by providing a retention bursary to those who gained qualified teacher status from August 2020 onwards and have since completed three academic years of teaching.

Gathering evidence and engaging with children and young people

The School Workforce Annual Census shows that the number of teachers leaving the profession is a particular issue in Welsh-medium and bilingual secondary schools where there are also issues in recruiting because of a shortage of teachers. There is also a shortage of teachers who can teach Welsh as a subject in all maintained secondary schools. Data shows that the issue is much more of an issue in Secondary schools than in Primary schools. We have discussed this issue with headteachers and received correspondence from parents and teachers saying that pupils are not able to access a range of subjects through the medium of Welsh because of a shortage of teachers.

We hope that a retention bursary will encourage more teachers with Welsh language skills to remain in the profession, ultimately increasing the number of teachers available to teach Welsh as a subject or through the medium of Welsh.

We have not discussed directly with children but with teachers and headteachers and other key stakeholder organisations.

Analysing the evidence and assessing the impact

Using the evidence you have gathered, what impact is your policy likely to have on children and young people? What steps will you take to mitigate and/or reduce any negative effects?

There is likely to be an impact on young people in secondary schools as the aim of the bursary is to retain skilled teachers who can teach Welsh and other subjects through the medium of Welsh within the profession.

How does your proposal enhance or challenge children’s rights, as stipulated by the UNCRC articles and its Optional Protocols?


UNCRC Articles or Optional Protocol

Enhances (X)

Challenges (X)


The bursary contributes to the delivery of article 29 a child or young person’s education should help their mind, body and talents be the best they can. It should also build their respect for other people and the world around them. In particular, they should learn to respect:

  • their rights and the rights of others
  • their freedoms and the freedoms of others
  • their parents
  • the identity, language and values of countries, including their own.

Education should prepare children and young people for a responsible life in a free society. It should teach them how to live in an understanding and tolerant way that is non-violent and that respects the environment.



Ensuring that there are enough Welsh as a subject teachers in secondary schools will enable children and young people to develop their Welsh language skills, the language of Wales.

The plan contributes to the delivery of article 30 (children from minority or indigenous groups) Every child has the right to learn and use the language, customs and religion of their family, whether or not these are shared by the majority of the people in the country where they live.



The bursary will help more children and young people in Wales to access Welsh-medium education by retaining teachers in the profession to deliver a broad curriculum through the medium of Welsh. It will also support an overall increase in the number of teachers able to teach Welsh as a subject.

Consider whether any EU Citizens Rights (as referenced in the Equality Impact Assessment) relate to young people up to the age of 18.

No, it will not impact on any EU Citizens’ Rights. It is possible that pupils in these schools are EU citizens but there are no specific rights being impinged upon as a result of the proposal.

Monitoring and Review

It is essential to revisit your CRIAs to identify whether the impacts that you originally identified came to fruition, and whether there were any unintended consequences.

Where you are taking forward secondary legislation, it will not be sufficient to rely on the CRIA for the primary legislation; you will need to update the CRIA to consider how the details of the proposals in the regulations or guidance may affect children.

The policy lead can revisit the published version of their CRIA, rename it as a review of the original CRIA, and update the evidence of impact. The reviewed impact assessment should be presented to Ministers with any proposals to amend the policy, practice or guidance. This review CRIA should also be published.

We will review at the end of the pilot period and throughout as part of the existing data capture through the Schools Annual Workforce Census and through ongoing discussions with headteachers and qualitative research with recipients. This information will inform policy development at the end of the 5 years.