A plan which will see Flintshire become a more bilingual county over the next ten years has been approved by the Minister for Education and the Welsh Language.

The purpose of the Welsh in Education Plan (WESP) is to improve the planning and standard of Welsh medium education and the use of the Welsh language and also to make a positive contribution to the Welsh Government’s ambitious target of a million Welsh speakers by 2050.

Flintshire County Council’s Leader and Cabinet Member for Education and Youth, Councillor Ian Roberts, said: “Flintshire County Council believes that the Welsh Language belongs to everyone. We are committed to increasing the number of those who speak Welsh in the wider community, with the aim of creating an increasingly bilingual county and country.

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“We want people of all ages to improve their Welsh language skills and have the ability to use these confidently in any situation – including at home, at work and in their communities. We are playing our part in contributing to the delivery of the national target and are celebrating the letter from the Minister for Education and Welsh language approving our WESP.”

Flintshire County Council says it is committed to supporting, expanding and promoting Welsh-medium education to develop learners who are fully bilingual.

Investments with partners including the Welsh Government in Welsh medium education include:

Ysgol Glanrafon - a £4.2m investment which has seen the mobile accommodation replaced with a permanent classroom accommodation to increase the permanent capacity of the building to cater for the high demand for places.  The school has a strong reputation for delivery of Welsh medium education and this is reflected in its popularity and pupil numbers.  This investment will directly contribute to the ambition to improve the number of fluent Welsh speakers in the Mold area.

Ysgol Croes Atti, Glannau Dyfrdwy - this £1.1m investment project which, as well as improving and remodelling the school buildings, established a Welsh medium pre-school group and wrap around childcare on the school site by Mudiad Meithrin.  The first cohort of nursery pupils has recently reached the end of their primary education and all are transferring to Flintshire’s Welsh medium secondary school, Ysgol Maes Garmon in September.

The council continues to invest in other Welsh medium schools including:

Ysgol Croes Atti, Flint – This project will replace the existing school on a new site in Flint. Tenders for contractor commission have been received, they are currently being checked and evaluated. The ambition for the project is that the school will start at a capacity 240 pupils and will have childcare provision and will be constructed as a Net Zero Carbon school. The site has room to expand provision to 420 pupils should this be required in the future.

The Council has also submitted an expression of interest for additional Welsh Government Welsh Medium Grant Funding. The submission highlights the need for new Welsh Medium start up provision within Buckley/Mynydd Isa area, as identified within our WESP.

Flintshire’s Chief Officer for Education and Youth, Claire Homard, said: “We recognise that we have a responsibility and a duty as a community leader to promote, support and safeguard the Welsh language for the benefit of present and future generations.  We are committed to taking action to achieve this and are confident that the Welsh language in Flintshire has a prosperous future.”