Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Plaid Cymru Councillor accuses Wrexham Council of 'suppressing the demand' for Welsh-medium education

Dataganiad i'r Wasg/Press Release:

Plaid Cymru Councillor accuses Wrexham Council of 'suppressing the demand' for Welsh-medium education
Wrecsam Plaid Cymru Councillor, Arfon Jones has written to the Welsh Government Education Minister, Huw Lewis to complain that Wrecsam Council is deliberately suppressing the demand for Welsh Medium Education by cutting funding of £23,000 to Mudiad Meithrin.

Mudiad Meithrin is the only provider of Welsh-medium early years care and education in the voluntary sector in Wrecsam. By cutting the entire grant, Cllr Jones believes the authority is reducing the availability of early years provision and thus children not having the opportunity to benefit from early years care and education through the medium of Welsh.

Cllr Jones said: "This proposed cut in funding is ill-thought out and the impact of it has not been properly assessed. The £23,000 investment provides excellent value in that it supports more than 700 children in pre-school settings. Where else could we find such value? Certainly not in-house at the Council.

"Any cut in funding at nursery level will have a knock-on effect on reception numbers at Welsh-medium primary schools. This flies in the face of one of Wrecsam Council's own ‘ priorities’, which is to increase the number of children entering Welsh-medium education. This will not happen if the cut goes ahead. In addition, the council's own Welsh In Education Strategic Plan attributes extensive responsibility to the Mudiad to deliver the early years part of the plan, which is now wholly misleading."

Councillor Jones went on to say: "What is particularly disturbing about this whole process is the rationale behind it and that is a deliberate attempt to suppress demand for Welsh-medium education because the authority knows that they will struggle to provide places both at primary and secondary level in future years.

"I very much hope Huw Lewis takes note of my letter and rejects Wrecsam's Welsh in Education Strategic Plan. He should challenge the council’s lack of enthusiasm in promoting the Welsh Government's aspirations to increase the number of Welsh learners and, more importantly, not to treat Welsh less favourably than English."

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