Outcome 7 - Increase the number of teaching staff able to teach Welsh (as a subject) and teach through the medium of Welsh
Where are we now?
The most recent data about the education workforce in NPT shows a plateau in the percentage of school teaching staff able to speak Welsh and teach through the medium of Welsh.
Recent workforce data
SWAC - Teacher Welsh Language Ability
|SWAC Year||W1 - No Welsh Skills||W2 - Entry Level||W3 - Foundation Level||W4 - Intermediate Level||W5 - Advanced Level||W6 - Proficient Level||W7 - Not Obtained||Total|
|SWAC Year||W1 - No Welsh Skills||W2 - Entry Level||W3 - Foundation Level||W4 - Intermediate Level||W5 - Advanced Level||W6 - Proficient Level||W7 - Not Obtained|
SWAC - Teaching Through the Medium of Welsh
|SWAC Year||T1 - Teach/work in Welsh in current post||T2 - Able to teach/work in Welsh but not doing so in current post||T3 - Not able to teach/work in Welsh||T4 - Teaching Welsh as a subject only||No answer||Total|
|SWAC Year||T1 - Teach/work in Welsh in current post||T2 - Able to teach/work in Welsh but not doing so in current post||T3 - Not able to teach/work in Welsh||T4 - Teaching Welsh as a subject only||No answer|
At present, the Welsh Sabbatical course is offered to all schools within the Local Authority. The numbers of staff who have attended the course is as follows:
|Year||Number of staff attending|
We recognise that there is a need to heavily endorse and promote this course in order to strategically increase the numbers of Welsh-speaking staff within our English-medium schools and succeed in our aim to provide bilingual education throughout the Local Authority.
To achieve a greater awareness and level of ability in the Welsh language within our English-medium schools, teaching staff within the Local Authority have been encouraged to attend Welsh language courses run by Academi Hywel Teifi (courses tailored to suit all abilities from entry level to higher level). The Local Authority monitors the number of staff attending and promotes the provision when needed.
At present, YGYBD are working closely with PGCE students from Swansea University’s School of Education ITE programme and Academi Hywel Teifi to train and promote teachers in Welsh-medium education. Thirteen students were placed in WM settings (YGYBD secondary phase sites) through this partnership in 2020-21 and 14 students in 2021-22, with a focus on subject needs within the workforce i.e. Welsh, English, biology, chemistry, physics, MFL, mathematics, DT and computer science. Furthermore, all student-teachers on the PGCE programme receive mandatory 30 hours of Welsh-language learning/enhancement as part of their course (the provision is tailored to where the individual is on their language continuum and ranges from ensuring basic conversational Welsh to enhancing fluency). All are offered further Welsh language learning opportunities once they’ve achieved their qualification; all graduate with a good level of language awareness and understanding of the bilingual educational context of Wales.
From September 2021, the Swansea University Schools' Partnership (SUSP) will also deliver a unique one year full-time Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) Primary with Qualified Teacher Status (QTS). After experiencing teaching placements across the primary age phase, the student teacher can choose to specialise in Foundation Phase, Key Stage 2 or All- Age contexts. The programme is heavily promoted in south Wales with a view to securing student-teachers that will enter the workforce in their home localities. By placing these student-teachers within our NPT schools as they train, we envisage forging links with potential new staff and securing a workforce that’s well-equipped to address the changing face of education in a bilingual Wales.
Developments are also afoot in the NPTC Group of Colleges which has received further funding from Colleges Wales / The National Centre for Learning Welsh to recruit a Work Welsh tutor that solely delivers Learn Welsh courses to NPTC Group of Colleges staff. The Work Welsh target is to provide 120 hours of Welsh to increase bilingual and Welsh-medium delivery in post-16 education, therefore concentrating on academic staff. There are currently 26 staff on the scheme. The ‘Welcome’ course (Cwrs ‘Croeso’) has also given NPTC Group of Colleges staff an opportunity to learn and develop their Welsh language skills in the workplace. Due to the success of the course, Work Welsh have used NPTC Group of Colleges as an example in their past case studies for good practice. They were also awarded Work Welsh Employer of the year 2020. Online Work Welsh courses have been built into the College induction scheme for all new staff and are also offered as CPD targets to all staff, therefore ensuring that staff at NPTC Group of Colleges continue to develop their Welsh language skills. The College has also developed a strategic approach (HR Linguistic Skills Strategy) to recruiting and training staff to close the skills gap between current capacity and the requirements identified in the new Welsh Language Standards and Towards Cymraeg 2050, by introducing a benchmarking exercise.
Where do we aim to be within the first 5 years of this Plan and how we propose to get there?
We aim to increase the number of teaching staff able to teach through the medium of Welsh in all sectors by the end of the 10 year plan. We aim to achieve this by implementing the following targets.
- We will devise and implement a system of targeting schools according to greater need to nominate individuals to attend the National Sabbatical Scheme with a view to enabling at least 3 teachers per year to attend. The Local Authority will also monitor and ensure that the learning and knowledge is cascaded within each school that benefits from the scheme with a view to creating a changed culture, ethos and language practice within the school.
- The Local Authority will complete a biannual audit of Welsh speakers able to teach through the medium of Welsh. This will include teachers, TA’s, youth workers etc. This data, along with projected pupil numbers and workforce planning data involving projected retirements, will be used to capture the required number of staff needed for the future and pinpoint schools, in order to drive the Local Authority’s recruitment plans and Welsh-language learning initiatives for staff.
- English-medium schools will be required to identify a community of staff with Welsh-language skills that will drive their school’s engagement with the language and the WESPs targets. Our aim here is to ensure whole school involvement in this agenda thus avoiding the risk of leaving isolated individuals to deliver on school and county-wide targets.
- The Local Authority will ensure that a teaching member of staff’s ability to learn /improve their Welsh language skills is factored into that individual’s worktime and workload and that recognition of their progress and effort will be documented in their annual personal development record.
- The HR department will audit the number and place of work of all Welsh speakers within the Authority in order to ensure Welsh medium non-teaching staff are allocated to Welsh medium schools, thus strengthening provision and communication.
- The Local Authority will set out clear guidelines for use by schools, governing bodies and HR when recruiting new staff, outlining the expectation in terms of the Welsh language. School Governing Bodies will be required to address this ongoing aim as a standing agenda item.
- We will provide an efficient translation service within the Local Authority to ensure that Welsh and English correspondence have equal status.
- We will continue to build on the effective ITE partnership between YGYBD and Swansea University and ensure maximum engagement with the new Primary programme.
- PGCE students from Swansea University and the Careers Service will hold regular information sessions with staff and pupils from Y10-13 in both Welsh and English medium schools, outlining the benefits of a career in education and the integral role the Welsh language plays in this.
- The Local Authority will seek to benefit from Welsh Government’s pilot project to incentivise Welsh speakers that return from universities to help teach Welsh in schools.
- Teaching staff within the Local Authority will be further encouraged to attend Welsh language courses run by Academi Hywel Teifi with an initial five-year programme of planning and development identified for this area. The focus will be in the large on staff in English-medium schools with minimal Welsh-language skills, but provision for those wishing to brush up or enhance their skills will also be made available across all schools.
- The Local Authority will identify/ recruit potential leaders and support them when completing the ‘Aspiring Leaders’ course with the intention of continuing to complete the NPQH.
- Increasing the number of staff attending the Welsh Language Sabbatical scheme will be a target. We will investigate using pilot schools with the aim of mapping out a continuum of staff training to be able to eventually create a category 2 stream within an English medium school, starting at nursery and working through to Year 6 over a number of years. Early discussions have identified that the Swansea Valley could be a suitable area for a scheme of this kind, along with a second pilot possibly in Neath.
- Welsh language awareness training will be made available for all non-teaching staff in the Local Authority’s schools.
Where do we expect to be at the end of our ten year Plan?
An increased number of the NPT education staff will be able to teach through the medium of Welsh and Welsh as a subject. There will be an increase in Welsh medium staff able to teach specific subjects at secondary level. There will be an increase in the number, ability and confidence of staff in English-medium schools able to converse and teach Welsh, therefore increasing the amount of learners with access to Welsh-medium education at all levels throughout the Local Authority. NPT will attract and recruit excellent, bilingual leaders for our schools. All NPT schools will form communities that promote the Welsh language as a medium for education and community life.