10 August 2020

A Million Welsh speakers

At a meeting organised by the Welsh Language Commissioner at the Alternative Amgen, Dilwyn Roberts-Young, UCAC's secretary general, responded to the Briefing Note on the Welsh language and the statutory education workforce in Wales.
The role of the teaching profession in fulfilling the Welsh Government vision of a million Welsh speakers by 2050 is crucial.
We are, therefore, concerned with the decrease in the number of Welsh speaking teachers or teachers able to work through the medium of Welsh over the past five years.
To ensure that there is the capacity to deliver in Welsh language in Welsh-medium, bilingual, and English-medium schools UCAC believes that there needs to be a clear workforce planning strategy in place.
The Welsh Language Commissioner’s report rightly emphasises the need to have a clear vision for recruiting and retention of teachers and to facilitate pathways to learning Welsh and developing existing Welsh language ability.
In attracting potential teachers to the profession there is a need to look at broader issues of appropriate salaries, reduced workload and clear career pathways which can ensure that teaching in Wales is a valued profession.  
We welcome the report as a basis for dialogue with national, regional and local government and endorse the report’s assertion that ‘what is needed is not a supplementary strategy for Welsh-medium teachers, but rather a teacher training and development strategy that reflects the vision of a bilingual Wales’.