The website "SouthWalesArgus" reports under the headline "Warning To Councils Over Welsh Schools", that the Welsh Language Group, "Rhieni Dros Addysg Gymraeg" (RhAG) have called on local Councils in Wales to "take ownership of their duty" under the provisions of the Welsh Government's "Schools Standards and Organisation Act". This legislation, passed in January of this year, places a statutory requirement on local education authorities to submit a "Welsh in Education Strategic Plan" to Cardiff for review and approval.
The legislation requires local Auhorities to assess the demand for Welsh language education and to development a plan to meet this demand. The filing deadline under the law has been extended and the RhAG have issued a statement in response to this delay which emphasises the groups commitment to providing students the opportunity to enjoy an education taught in the Welsh language.
Ceri Owen, RhAG National Development Officer, pointed out that the requirements placed on local authorities under the January 2013 legislation have "..the force of law behind it. We therefore call on local authorities to make the most of this addtional time given to them, by strengthening plans in consultation with parents, enabling them to achieve national targets set in the governments Welsh-Medium Education Strategy."
Below is an excerpt from the full statement which can be found on the RhAG website (linked below):
Parents for Welsh medium Education (RhAG) have called on all Local Authorities to take ownership of their duty to improve the planning of Welsh-medium Education. This comes after receiving an additional four weeks to submit their Welsh in Education Strategic Plans to the Welsh Government. Plans must now be submitted by 20 January 2014.
The Welsh Medium Education Strategy now sets the national agenda in terms of Welsh-medium education planning, yet implementing this needs to be a partnership between central and local government with responsibilities placed on both sides. We need LAs to set clear and coherent targets based on the underlying vision that they have a duty now to not only meet demand but rather to promote growth. Similarly the Welsh Government need to have robust scrutiny and evaluation structures in place, and if any plans fall short of the expected standard, we expect the Education Minister to use his new powers to reject them. A very clear message must be projected that non-compliance isn’t acceptable in order to finally translate national political consensus into actual developments on the ground.