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Package of support announced to boost Welsh language teacher recruitment

Pecyn o gymorth wedi'i gyhoeddi i roi hwb i recriwtio athrawon sy’n siarad Cymraeg

The Minister for Education and Welsh Language has announced a new bursary and grant to increase the number of teachers who can speak Welsh.

A new £5,000 bursary will be available to teachers who gained Qualified Teacher Status from August 2020 onwards, and who have completed three years of teaching Welsh or through the medium of Welsh. The bursary will initially be available until Autumn 2028 to assess its success in encouraging teachers to enter and remain in the profession.

Alongside this, a second round of the Welsh-medium workforce capacity building grant has opened, with a total pot of £800,000. This scheme provides small grants to schools so they can develop innovative ways of resolving the recruitment challenges they face.

This grant gives schools the freedom to tailor plans to the needs of their own locality, workforce and demographics. During the first year of the grant successful projects included:

  • Apprentices appointed to train towards becoming teaching assistants
  • 12 secondary schools working together to deliver joint-provision for year 10 and 11 learners who were resitting GCSE exams.
  • Professional learning to upskill teaching staff to teach extra subjects like sciences
  • Welsh-medium secondary schools working together to recruit undergraduates in shortage subjects to work part-time to share their subject expertise and gain experience in teaching.

Increasing the number of teachers who can teach Welsh and through the medium of Welsh is vital to realising the Welsh Government’s vision for a million Welsh speakers by 2050 and to achieve the ambitions of the White Paper for the Welsh Language Education Bill.

Jeremy Miles, The Minister for Education and Welsh Language, said: “One of our biggest priorities for achieving a million Welsh speakers is making sure we have enough teachers to meet the demand for learning in Welsh. This package of support will strengthen our Welsh-speaking education workforce and ensure more people can take advantage of the exciting career opportunities on offer.”

Notes to editors

Actions have also been taken during the year to increase the number of Welsh-speaking teaching assistants and support workers. This includes a pilot scheme in Torfaen to give school leavers a year’s placement to become teaching assistants. Cyngor Gwynedd is currently planning to pilot full-time jobs with some hours as teaching assistants and some hours supporting other services, to offer a year-round job, 37 hours a week.

These actions have been achieved as part of the Welsh in education workforce plan which was published almost a year ago. Other steps which have been taken include free Welsh lessons for school staff, more places on the Cynllun Pontio for primary school teachers to teach secondary, and 'Cadw Cyswllt' which helps students in England return to Wales to prepare to teach.