True to their word Kirsty Williams’ team ‘responded’ to my letter dated 18.10.19.
On a quick reading, I found the response offensive and patronising as it doesn’t answer a single specific point raised on the underperformance of Welsh Medium Education.
It merely restates their braindead policies and repeats their low-grade statistics which have nothing to do with education. They have to do this because they have no answers and they know that we can’t do anything about it (Sheer and unadulterated arrogance – IMO).
What is astonishing that they have legislated ‘tonnes’ of the Welsh language compulsion measures with no prior impact assessment, which is nothing short of criminal neglect of the due process:
“The Welsh Government is in the process of conducting a comprehensive analysis of school performance looking at factors such as the medium of education of the school and other characteristics including eligibility for free school meals and speaking Welsh at home. This work has been internally and externally peer-reviewed, and we are currently taking forward work suggested following the peer review.”
This suggests that they are now looking for a way to obfuscate the inconvenient outcome from their review.
Welsh Government does not work for people of Wales – They work for their self-interests and not for us – they are not public servants but paid apparatchiks of the Y Fro Gymraeg regime.
They are both propagandists and gatekeepers – trained to play everything hostile with a dead bat. Some of these people have probably never done any kind of work other than taking taxpayers’ money to promote and facilitate the Welsh language.
Under normal circumstances, the media should be on-board but they’re no better than apparatchiks as well. As things stand there is a near-total cabal inside the political class and the 4th estate in favour of increasing the Welsh Language – the cabal is supported by cross-party consensus. There is no meaningful dissent and no meaningful consultation.
When it comes to a war of attrition, the apparatchiks have all the advantages and they get well paid for doing it – The only solution is to get organised before May 2021 Assembly elections and support any party that has ABOLISH THE WELSH ASSEMBLY in its manifesto!
The Welsh Government’s letter in its naked form:
Eich cyf/Your ref Ein cyf/Our ref TO/KW/07373/19
Dear Mr Protic
Thank you for your correspondence dated 18 and 22 October to the Minister for Education. I have been asked to respond on her behalf. The Welsh Government is firmly committed to the belief that we want all our school learners to have the opportunity to be bilingual. In terms of the money spent on the Welsh language, figures are openly available on the government’s website at https://gov.wales/sites/default/files/publications/2018-12/finalbudget-2019-2020-megs.ods (This link doesn’t work for me but in the current financial year 2019/20 the Welsh Government has allocated £24 Million to ‘promote’ Welsh Medium Education that is based on ‘legalised compulsion’: https://www.glasnost.org.uk/2019/12/two-official-languages-in-wales-but-are-they-equal/ )
– the BEL tab at the bottom of the document shows a breakdown of expenditure by theme.
As you mention in your correspondence, we consider the census of the population to be the key source of information about the number of Welsh speakers in Wales. However, the Office for National Statistics’ Annual Population Survey (APS) provides quarterly estimates of the number of Welsh speakers in the period between censuses. Attachment V in your correspondence shows how the estimates vary between the APS and 2001 and 2011 Census, something that the Chief Statistician has addressed in a blog, which was subsequently explored in more detail in the statistical bulletin, Welsh language data from the Annual Population Survey: 2001 to 2018.
Cymraeg 2050 clearly states that the trajectory towards a million Welsh speakers was based on 2011 Census data and progress towards this target will be monitored using future census data. Nevertheless, the APS provides us with more regular estimates of the number of Welsh speakers, and the APS data is published to be able to monitor trends between censuses. The question on the Welsh language is included for cross-analysis purposes by the Office for National Statistics, and not specifically to provide a count of the number of people who can speak Welsh.
As a Government we are not aware of official publications or estimates that indicate that there are around 100,000 Welsh speakers.
It should also be added that there is a strong democratic mandate for promoting the Welsh language and Welsh medium education. The Welsh Government’s policy in this area has been through several layers of public scrutiny and debate which suggest that the consensus of public opinion is supportive of this approach. The vision of reaching a million Welsh speakers by 2050, of which the education system plays a crucial role, was a party manifesto commitment which, following National Assembly elections in 2016, was included in the Welsh Government’s Programme for Government. The policy itself was subsequently subject to thorough scrutiny in Assembly Committees, before being voted upon by democratically elected Assembly Members in Cardiff Bay.
The Welsh Government is in the process of conducting a comprehensive analysis of school performance looking at factors such as the medium of education of the school and other characteristics including eligibility for free school meals and speaking Welsh at home. This work has been internally and externally peer reviewed, and we are currently taking forward work suggested following the peer review.
Catrin Morris Senior Welsh in Education Planning Officer