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MORE PUPILS BEING TAUGHT THROUGH THE MEDIUM OF WELSH

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Jane Davidson, Minister for Education and Lifelong Learning has welcomed new statistics which show that the numbers...
Jane Davidson, Minister for Education and Lifelong Learning has welcomed new statistics which show that the numbers of Welsh speaking primary schools and pupils has increased.

The Welsh In Schools 2004 and 2005 published today presents a variety of statistics related to the use of the Welsh Language in schools in Wales. The statistics are derived from analyses of the Pupil Level Annual School Census (PLASC) and the National Curriculum assessments.

The statistics show that there were 455 Welsh speaking primary schools (almost 29% of the total) at January 2005 with 52,800 pupils on roll, seven more schools and 1,700 more pupils than in 2004. In secondary schools the percentage of pupils of compulsory school age taught Welsh as a first language has risen to 14.8% with a further 84.2% taught Welsh as a second language. The numbers of pupils assessed in Welsh as a first language at Key Stage 1 and 2 have also risen.

The Minister said: 'These figures show the continuing increase in the numbers of pupils being taught in classes where Welsh is the main medium and the solid progress which is being made in the numbers of primary school pupils being assessed in the subject of Welsh.

'I have always been clear about my commitment to working to make bilingualism a reality in Wales and have dedicated substantial funding to the provision of Welsh medium education. I am happy to stand by the Government's record on the Welsh language and to confirm our commitment to Welsh medium education through Iaith Pawb, the first ever strategic plan for the Welsh language.

'Giving people in Wales the opportunity to learn the language is essential if we are to achieve a bilingual Wales.'

The Welsh In Schools 2004 and 2005 Statistical Bulletin SB 04/2006 can be obtained on the Assembly website.

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