Ysgol Bro Hyddgen
4 November 2020
Plans to start consultation to change the language provision of an all-through school in north Powys will be considered by Cabinet next week, the county council has said.
Ysgol Bro Hyddgen in Machynlleth is currently a dual-stream school providing English-medium and Welsh-medium education for pupils aged 4 to 18.
Powys County Council is proposing to alter the school's language provision so that eventually, it would become a Welsh-medium education setting that would enable all learners to become fully bilingual.
If it goes ahead, the proposed change would be introduced on a phased basis, year-by-year, starting with the school's Reception class in September 2022.
The proposed change would not affect those pupils already at the school - pupils currently accessing English-medium provision at the school would be able to continue to access this provision until they leave school. Additional support would be provided for pupils who need to improve their Welsh language skills would also be provided alongside any change in the school's language provision.
On Tuesday, November 10, Cabinet will be asked to start formal consultation on the proposal.
Cllr Phyl Davies, Cabinet Member for Education and Property, said: "Ysgol Bro Hyddgen is located in a traditionally Welsh-speaking area and its English-medium stream is the only English-medium feeder primary provider in the catchment area.
"The number of English-medium pupils attending primary provision in Machynlleth has decreased, which means that the number of primary aged pupils accessing English-medium provision in the catchment is low.
"The low number of English-medium pupils causes a challenge to Ysgol Bro Hyddgen, particularly in the secondary phase.
"One of the aims in our Strategy for Transforming Education in Powys is to improve access to Welsh-medium provision across all key stages. We also have an objective in the strategy to move schools along the language continuum.
"In order to meet these aims and objectives, we want to move Ysgol Bro Hyddgen along the language continuum. This would ensure that all pupils attending the school have the opportunity to become fully bilingual, fluent in both Welsh and English, therefore contributing to the Welsh Government's aspiration to achieve a million Welsh speakers by 2050.
"I am recommending to Cabinet that we start formal consultation on the proposal to change the language provision at Ysgol Bro Hyddgen so that it starts its journey towards becoming a Welsh-medium education setting."