The Welsh Government Minister for Welsh and Life-long Learning today announced an urgent review of the Welsh in Education Strategic Plans (WESPs).
The recently submitted draft WESPs for 2017-2020 were expected to strengthen and grow Welsh medium education in all parts of Wales and include strategies to better promote Welsh medium education to parents.
The draft 2017-2020 WESPs presented by local authorities were widely criticised by a range of groups and organisations including in a cross-party letter signed by Assembly Members earlier this year.
Llŷr Gruffydd, Plaid Cymru’s Shadow Education, Children, Skills and Lifelong Learning Secretary said, “I welcome today’s announcement by the minister that the Welsh in Education Strategic Plans submitted to the Government will not be approved. They have clearly fallen short of what is expected and must be reviewed. I also welcome the launch of a wider review to strengthen the strategic planning process in future.
“I had previously written to the minister highlighting concerns that the submitted WESPs were generally unambitious, lacking in detail and tended to be more descriptive than developmental. They in no way reflected the level of ambition demanded by the Government’s target of a million Welsh-speakers by 2050. Similar issues had been raised by the Welsh language Commissioner, Estyn and the previous Assembly’s Children, Young People and Education Committee who published a critical report on the WESPs back in 2015.”
Llŷr Gruffydd AM continued, “We now need to see some real leadership from the Welsh Government and our local authorities in bringing forward strategic plans that are much more ambitious and innovative. This is the only way the much-talked about Welsh Government target of a million Welsh speakers by 2050 can start to be realised. Current plans will not come close to achieving that goal.”