[lg policy] UK: Language row as mum slams 'lack of choice' over Welsh education

Harold Schiffman hfsclpp at GMAIL.COM
Tue Mar 2 15:02:04 UTC 2010

Language row as mum slams 'lack of choice' over Welsh education

Monday, March 01, 2010,

A MOTHER-OF-FOUR from the Gwendraeth Valley has hit out at the lack of
choice for secondary education through the Welsh language offered by
controversial educational reforms in Carmarthenshire. Sioned Elin, of
Bancffosfelen, who has three children who attend the primary school in
the village, said: "Maes yr Yrfa would be the secondary school we
would be sending them to. "They're having their primary school
education through Welsh at a category 2A school and we want to make
sure they continue to have a Welsh medium education in secondary
school. "If it is decided that the school will be a category 2B then
that choice will be taken away from us. "Out of 14 schools in
Carmarthenshire there are only three Welsh category 2A school's and if
they decide Maes yr Yrfa is 2B then there will only be two.

 "The choice is terrible."

In a category 2A school 80 per cent of classes are taught through the
medium of Welsh. A 2B school is classed as bilingual. Last week it was
revealed parents and governors will have the final say over bilingual
and Welsh teaching options when schools merge in the Gwendraeth Valley
and Dinefwr. Council chiefs have said it will be up to individual
schools to decide on the language lessons are taught in. Executive
board member for education Gwynne Wooldridge said: "When these new
schools are established the teachers, governors and parents can sit
down and decide what they want. "They will decide which language
policy is most appropriate. Thereafter, each school can develop in
accordance with its preferences.

"It is up to schools to make the decision." Ms Elin said she was
unsure of how the new plans would work. "I presume Maes-yr-Yrfa and
Gwendraeth will shut and a new school will open," she added. "If
people don't know what category the school is going to be before
opening, how can they decide if they're going to send their child
there or not?
"We're in limbo. We don't know what the timetable is or when the
school's will close."

rhiannon.jones at swwmedia.co.uk

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