Ysgol Pen-y-Garth is Peanrth's only Welsh language medium school - but now there's pressure for a second.

Ysgol Pen-y-Garth is Peanrth’s only Welsh language medium school – but now there’s pressure for a second.

Cymdeithas yr Iaith Gymraeg  – the Welsh Language Society – is pressing the Vale of Glamorgan Council to convert what it describes as “190 vacancies” in eleven local primary schools to form a second  Welsh-language-medium* school in Penarth.

The society is also criticising the Vale Council for its interpretation of the findings of the Vale’s own survey into the demand for Welsh-medium language education in the Vale of Glamorgan.

The survey was carried out in 2013/14 by the Vale of Glamorgan Council to establish what the demand was for Welsh language education. It found that 43% of local parents wanted their children to receive education in the medium of Welsh. 

The survey also found that ” A significantly lower percentage of respondents from the Eastern Vale [ i.e. Penarth]  said that they would be likely, quite likely or very likely to send their child to a Welsh medium primary school if it was within 2 miles of their home (30%)“.

However Cymdeithas Yr Iaith says this finding  “did not suit the Vale of Glamorgan Council” – and that the council subsequently claimed that the true  demand indicated by the survey had been ‘magnified‘ because of the  tendency for parents who are passionate about  Welsh to respond to such surveys [whereas other parents do not].

The council re-interpreted survey findings and claimed that the true demand – across the whole of the Vale was nearer 25%.

The Welsh Language Society says that  there are 190 vacancies in the 11 English-medium schools in the area ( named as St Andrew, Murch, Dinas Powys, Albert , Cogan, Evenlode , St Joseph l, Fairfield,  Sully, Victoria and Llandough)   and that those vacancies should be used to create a new Welsh medium school for the area.

At the National Eisteddfod in Abergavenny it was announced that the number of children now receiving education through the medium of Welsh is increasing .

Also at the Eisteddfod – which ends today –  the Welsh Labour Government’s First Minister for Wales Carwyn Jones launched a drive to double the number of Welsh speakers to a million by 2050 . Sian  Gwenllian of Plaid Cymru called the announcement “another superficial stunt”.

*Welsh medium education means a primary school in which all lessons are taught through the medium of the Welsh language.

The full original 2014 Vale Council report is on

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  1. Paul says:

    It might offend the Welsh speakers amongst us but I want my child taught in English. It is one of the most commonly used languages of business and trade across the globe, more to do with the US than the UK admittedly, but those are the facts.

    • The interesting comparison therefore is with the results of Welsh medium education or English medium education. I know for example some years ago when a comparison was made of secondary schools in the old Mid Glamorgan that Welsh Language Schools results were better in English than schools where English was the medium of instruction. The idea that Welsh medium education leads to poor English skills isn’t backed up by evidence it seems

      • Paul says:

        Many years ago, the class sizes in Welsh medium schools were a third of the english speaking schools : hence the big difference in results. If you are proposing that results are better simply because they are taught in Welsh then I’d love to see your raw data.

    • Fishhenge says:

      It will undoubtedly surprise some of the readers here that most children educated in Welsh medium schools have a pretty good grasp of English when they leave school too!

      • Paul says:

        No, no surprise at all. I’d just prefer my children to learn something else instead of English as a second language.

  2. Christopher David says:

    Yes and Welsh costs £500,000,000 a year to support when an opt in policy costing just a few million would do it. If people want special treatment they should pay for it privately themselves. I have a feelings these stats have been helped anyway.

  3. Martin Coffee says:

    I have a young friend who was taught in Welsh at school. However the transition into English after leaving school was very difficult. Engineering and scientific caused particular problems particularly as proper names were being translated into Welsh.

    I’m of the opinion that education in Welsh doesn’t prepare young people for an English speaking world.

    • Louise C says:

      Indeed. Why make up Welsh spellings for the elements and other scientific words? Must make it harder to go from Welsh science A levels to a degree.

  4. Christopher David says:

    Indeed Mr Coffee. They make it up as they go. Costs a bomb for a group to sit down and come up with things like…. falf, cyfrifiadur and the quite brilliant ambiwlans.

    • Ian Symonds says:

      Ambulance in English comes from the latin word ambulare meaning to walk or move about and hence its use as l’ambulance in French, ambulancia in Spanish and ambulanza in Italian and you will find that the English word comes from the same roots. For Welsh, as a language with romano-british influences, to use a latin-based word is entirely logical and, as a phonetic language, the word ambiwlans is correct (and internationally it is a recognisable word). Slightly disappointed that we haven’t got a word based on the German word krankenwagen.

  5. Ivor Bagman says:

    Whether it is english or welsh
    Cyclists still don’t comply
    With the sign saying
    ” Cyclists Dismount ”
    Why teach them at all if
    They end up pig ignorant !!!!

  6. Ivor Bagman says:

    Oh – by the way !
    They knocked down
    A nice little school
    In High Street .

  7. Big Davey says:

    What not many people know is that HUGE amounts of funding for the Welsh language education programme have been provided by the EU and hence the massive and unsustainable expansion of Welsh medium schools in Wales. What will now happen once the EU funding is removed, we will end up with both impoverished English and Welsh education system because neither one with give up monies for the other.

  8. UnhappyCitizen says:

    It’s not another Welsh school we need, it’s an English school! Albert Road, Victoria, Evenlode, Fairfield schools are bursting at the seams. It’s about time another school of that kind is built. I have nothing against a Welsh school, but please keep in mind that in the whole of Wales only 20% speak Welsh.

    • AK says:


      My son is counted as a Welsh Speaker as he has a GCSE in the language. I’m sure at primary school, the teacher was only one lesson ahead of the pupils !

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