Threat to Welsh language ‘immersion’ service in Gwynedd

5 December 2018

Threat to Welsh language ‘immersion’ service in Gwynedd

UCAC education union has expressed its opposition to proposals made by Gwynedd Council to make cuts to the service that allows new-arrivals to the area to be ‘immersed’ in the language so that they can join their peers in mainstream bilingual education.

Gwynedd Council is currently consulting with staff of the Language Centres that provide the service about restructuring.

Ioan Rhys Jones, UCAC’s North Wales Field Officer said “The Council hasn’t provided an option to protect this service which is often regarded as a jewel in Gwynedd’s educational crown.

“All of the options would have a negative impact on the quality of the instruction provided and/or the numbers of pupils who could benefit from this valuable service.

“Due to the intensity of the course, and the high expectations on teachers and pupils alike, experts are of the opinion that a ratio of 1 teacher to 6 pupils is essential. That is the model currently in place – however, none of the proposals allow for that to continue. In fact, most of the proposals would mean a doubling of the number of pupils per teacher.

“We fear that the proposals would make it far harder to reach the same standards within the same timescales. That in turn could mean that pupils faced difficulties integrating into mainstream bilingual education – and into the wider bilingual community.

“UCAC is shocked that Gwynedd Council doesn’t appear to be willing to ensure the continuity of the service at its current level, and that it has not been able to identify funds to ensure its sustainability.

“What hope is there of reaching the Welsh Government’s target of a million Welsh speakers by 2050 when we can’t even ensure that we integrate new arrivals to the area into mainstream bilingual education in the very strongholds of the language in Gwynedd?”



  • UCAC is Wales’s own education union. It represents teachers, headteachers and lecturers in all education sectors across Wales.

For further information please contact:

Rebecca Williams: 07787 572180 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.