Rt. Hon Carwyn Jones, First Minister of Wales and Huw Lewis, 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. 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 programme is also important in the context of the Government’s Welsh Language Strategy, Iaith Fyw:Iaith Byw, particularly following the 2011 Census results.
On 9 July 2012, a review of the Welsh for Adults programme was announced. The independent Group, chaired by Dr Haydn Edwards, was asked to review the provision of Welsh for Adults in terms of learner attainment, curriculum content, delivery structures and value for money. The Review Group’s report ‘Raising our sights: review of Welsh for Adults,’ was published on 15 July 2013 and can be seen online.
The Welsh Government welcomes the report and its recommendations. The majority of the recommendations contained in the report fit closely with our current policy direction as outlined in the Welsh-medium Education Strategy and the Welsh Language Strategy, and we are pleased to be able to accept the majority of them. Some require further consideration, but we support the intent of the proposed actions. A detailed response to the Review Group’s recommendations can be seen online.
The Welsh Government will now move forward to implement the recommendations in partnership with providers and key stakeholders. It is anticipated that the national entity will not be in place until September 2015 at the earliest. However, in the meantime work will progress to:
- reduce the number of providers from the current 27 to between 10 and 14;
- revisit the recurrent funding model for Welsh for Adults provision in line with the review of the post-16 planning and funding system;
- make changes to the assessment and accreditation processes;
- look again at the curriculum to ensure that it is fit for purpose; and
- undertake other elements of development work to include a national marketing strategy, the use of e-learning, Welsh in the Workplace provision, and informal learning activities.
In addition to publishing the Welsh Government response to the Welsh for Adults review, we are also today publishing the indicative funding allocations for the Welsh for Adults programme for 2014-15.
In light of the current financial settlement, it would be difficult to protect the Welsh for Adults programme from any cuts. Therefore, an indicative 8% cut is being proposed for the Welsh for Adults programme. As the Welsh for Adults programme is key to increasing the number of adults in Wales able to speak and use the Welsh language, and as a review of the Welsh for Adults programme has been published with a number of recommendations to improve the delivery, we have taken steps to keep the cuts to a minimum.
The continued delivery of the Welsh for Adults programme is a key Welsh Government committment and we look forward to implementing the recommendations of the Review Group in order to further develop the programme.