Dyfodol i’r Iaith have called upon the Welsh Minister to conduct an urgent inquiry into the lack of commitment show by some local authorities to improve and develop Welsh schools within their counties. This call follows a reply received from the Education Secretary’s Office in response to Dyfodol’s enquiry regarding the allocation of 21st Century Schools funding for Welsh schools by local authority area.
According to the Education Secretary’s Office, 6 counties – Blaenau Gwent, Flint, Merthyr Tudful, Monmouth, Rhondda Cynon Taf and Wrexham, have all chosen to allocate 5% or less the funding to Welsh medium schools.
In total, these counties spent £286,750,000.00 – more than a quarter of a billion pounds – on investing in schools, but only £2,726,636 on Welsh schools. Rhondda Cynon Taf spent £159,291,853 on English schools and only £798,147 on Welsh schools.
Blaenau Gwent, Flint a Merthyr Tudful spent nothing on Welsh schools, but £103,450,000 on English schools.
Since the authorities themselves are responsible for allocating the priorities for this expenditure, it is highly significant that these 6 authorities spent little or none of the funding on Welsh schools.
Heini Gruffudd, Dyfodol’s Chair said:
“These figures are a sorry reflection of the lack of commitment that exists in some areas towards the growth of the Welsh language. As an organisation we have from the start been critical of the Welsh Language Education Schemes; in terms of individual schemes and the political will to lead on their development.
With the Welsh Language Strategy aiming to create a million Welsh speakers by 2050, it is agreed that this aim cannot be achieved without a robust commitment to develop Welsh medium education. The current situation means that the whole work is under threat from the start.
We call on the Minister to get to grips with the situation at once, and conduct a full and detailed inquiry into these authorities’ failure to contribute to the Government’s strategic vision.
Throughout Wales £1,497,726,000 was spent on schools.
£441,405,602 (29.5%) was spent on Welsh schools
Figures for the six counties:
Blaenau Gwent Expenditure: £20,500,000 On Welsh schools: £0 = 0%
Flint Expenditure: £64,200,000 On Welsh schools: £0 = 0%
Merthyr Tudful Expenditure: £19,000,000 On Welsh schools: £0 = 0%
Monmouth Expenditure: £93,400,00 On Welsh schools:£1,000,000 = 1%
Rhondda Cynon Taf Expenditure: £160,000,000 On Welsh schools: £708,147 = 0.5%
Wrexham Expenditure: £22,300,000 On Welsh schools: : £1,018,489 = 5%