Are English-speaking parents with children in Welsh medium schools getting the support they need?

There needs to be more support for English-speaking parents with children in Welsh Schools, says Plaid Cymru. 

The calls follow the launch of the Welsh4Parents website, which points to resources that they can use alongside their children’s learning.  

Siân Gwenllian, Plaid’s Shadow Minister for Education, Culture and the Welsh Language said: “I think the Welsh Government needs to put in extra resources in place to help in the next stage of recovery and that means bringing in volunteers, retired teachers and teachers doing their training.”  

“The more people we have helping the children and young people to reengage in their education the better.”

“There are lots of people who are teachers who are working for the various education organisations across Wales. As every child’s experience will have been different, we need to work with them and address their particular needs and for me, it’s vital to have more people in the classroom to help children in the next phase.” 

Parents of children in Welsh Schools spoke to CJS News about the difficulties they have faced home-schooling in a different language.  

Rebecca Phillips from Canton said: We are on week five of homeschooling. My girls go to a Welsh school, so it makes it a bit more difficult because I don’t speak Welsh.”  

“I’ve been going to a Welsh course, but it doesn’t touch the sides on their learning. We just wing it; stick it into a Welsh dictionary and see how we go”. 

Elin Maher, the co-ordinator of Welsh4Parents, hopes their website will pool language resources from across the country. She believes that there needs to be a place for parents to seek help in these tough situations.

She said: ‘’Our main aim is really to reassure those that don’t speak Welsh that we are aiming this towards them.  

“It is opening the door to Welsh culture, which supports the language, and vice versa. Another language is a window to another world.

“In the long term we would like it to develop into a household resource. This can be used at home, in schools and by practitioners.” 

A Welsh Government spokesperson told CJS News: “We appreciate the challenges all parents are facing with learning from home.  We have provided guidance to schools to help them during the pandemic, which includes dedicated support for Welsh-medium learners whose families don’t speak Welsh. “