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Double the number of trainee teachers with Welsh language skills, says report

UCAC education union has welcomed the conclusions and recommendations of a report into Welsh-medium provision in Initial Teacher Education, published on 28 September.

Rebecca Williams, UCAC’s Policy Officer said:

“This report confirms the point that UCAC has been raising for a number of years that the development of Welsh language skills within Initial Teacher Education programmes has been inconsistent, patchy and, frankly, inadequate. We are not producing the numbers of teachers with the required language skills to meet current demand from schools, let alone enough to support the level of growth necessary to achieve Welsh Government’s target of a million speakers by 2050.

“The evaluation is spot-on when it says that Initial Teacher Education “needs to nearly double the number of trainees being trained annually” with Welsh language skills. A crucial opportunity to set clear and more ambitious expectations was missed when the criteria were drawn up for the accreditation of the new generation of initial teacher education programmes, starting in September 2019.

“We agree with the recommendation that Welsh-language skills development – suitably tailored, and with sufficient support – should be a compulsory element of every Initial Teacher Education programme.

“We urge Welsh Government to act speedily to implement the recommendations in the evaluation. Otherwise, we’ll be guilty of missing one opportunity after the other to build the necessary infrastructure to allow for the growth of Welsh education. Without teachers with the requisite skills, no growth will be possible.”