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Written Statement - Review of Welsh for Adults

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Leighton Andrews, Minister for Education and Skills

Welsh for Adults is an adult community learning programme. The aim of the Welsh for Adults programme is to provide opportunities for adults to learn Welsh in their local communities, in their workplaces or with their families to enable them to use the language and contribute to the Welsh Government aim of seeing the Welsh language thrive.

Six Welsh for Adults Centres were established in 2006 (based on the former ELWa regions), following a public consultation period and a grant application process, in order to bring together the plethora of Welsh language provision that existed at the time and with the aim of raising standards. In 2010/11 there were 18,205 adults learning Welsh through the six Centres.

The continuing importance of Welsh for Adults in offering opportunities for adults to learn Welsh is emphasised in the Welsh Government’s Welsh-medium Education Strategy. The Strategy contains a number of specific actions for the continued development of the programme through the Welsh for Adults Centres.

In order to move the work forward, I am establishing a Review Group to consider how to improve the provision and delivery structures. The main objective is to review the provision of Welsh for Adults in terms of learner attainment, curriculum content, delivery structures and value for money. The Group will be required to report to me by June 2013 and provide recommendations on the way forward.
The Group will be asked to consider:
  • how best to develop learners' Welsh language skills so that they are able to use the language in the workplace, community and with their families, including: 
    • is the current curriculum suitable?
    • what are the requirements in terms of course books / teaching and learning materials?
    • what are the opportunities for increasing the use of e-learning within Welsh for Adults?
    • what are the opportunities for increasing informal learning within Welsh for Adults?
    • what are the training requirements for the workforce?
  • the options for the future structure of Welsh for Adults development and delivery, including:
    • is the current model achieving the objectives of the Welsh Government?
    • is the balance of provision right?
    • can the resources be used more effectively?
    • how to address workforce planning issues to ensure the future capacity to provide quality Welsh for Adults provision;
  • the relationship with private sector providers; and
  • whether qualifications (currently available and/or other possible forms of accreditation/assessment) are a lever or a barrier with regard to developing transferable Welsh-language skills.

I have asked Dr Haydn Edwards, former Principal of Coleg Menai, to chair the Group. Haydn brings a wealth of experience to the Group and I am pleased that he has agreed to take this important work forward. I will confirm the names of the other members, who will be selected based on their experience and expertise in the field of education and training in September 2012.