Welsh in Education Strategic Plan

Outcome 4 - More learners study for assessed qualifications in Welsh (as a subject) and subjects through the medium of Welsh

Where we are now?


Percentage of learners studying in Welsh as a first language - Year 7-13

  2017  2018 2019 2020 2021
Year 7 42% 41% 43% 44% 45%
Year 8 45% 43% 43% 43% 44%
Year 9 41% 43% 43% 42% 42%
Year 10 42% 40% 42% 42% 42%
Year 11 43% 44% 41% 43% 43%
Year 12 60% 64% 63% 64% 67%
Year 13 58% 61% 64% 67% 64%


The number and percentage of Year 11 learners who have been registered for GCSEs in Welsh (first or second language) and those who are not registered for either.

  2012-2013 2013-2014 2014-2015 2015-2016 2016-2017 2017-2018 2018-2019 2019-2020
Welsh First language 717 / 33%  687 / 34% 673 / 34% 709 / 37% 765 / 40% 752 /41% 726 / 39% 744 / 40%
Welsh 2nd language 1,215 / 56% 1,130 /56% 1088 / 55% 1002 / 52% 963 / 51% 932 / 51% 1002 / 53% 957 / 52%
Not Registered 242 / 11% 194 /10% 211 / 11% 217 / 11% 161 / 9% 143 / 8% 154 / 8% 142 / 8%


Number and percentage of AS/A level Welsh registrations first and second language

Registrations 2012-2013 2013-2014 2014-2015 2015-2016 2016-2017 2017-2018 2018-2019 2019-2020
Number 89 59 61 53 47 51 44 55
Percentage 5.5% 3.6% 3.9% 3.6% 3.2% 3.4% 3.0% 4.0%


GCSE's 2019 2020 2021
Welsh - First language 724 654 897
Welsh - 2nd language 1013 954 992


A Level 2019 2020 2021
Welsh - First language 19 16 22
Welsh - 2nd language 7 8 6


Percentage of pupils in Key Stages 3, 4 and 5 studying subjects through the medium of Welsh:


School Category KS3 KS4 KS5
School (1) 100% 100% 100%
School (2A) 100% 100% 100%
School (2A) 100% 100% 100%
School (2B) 50.5% 59.9%  61.8%
School (2B) 60%  60.8% 62.2%



School Category KS3  KS4 KS5
School (1) 100% 100% 100%
School (2A) 100% 100% 100%
School (2A) 100% 100% 100%
School (2B) 50.4% 46.9% TBC
School (2B) 62.4% 61.8% TBC


In terms of subjects taught through the medium of Welsh across the full range of Carmarthenshire schools, the table below shows how many subjects are taught through the medium of Welsh at Key stages 3, 4 and 5 (2021-22):

School Category Number of KS3 subjects Number of KS4 subjects Number of KS5 subjects
  Average Range Average Range Average  Range
1 (1 school)    Entire curriculum through the medium of Welsh, with the exception of English as a subject and increasing use of the target language in modern languages
2A (2 schools) Entire curriculum through the medium of Welsh, with the exception of English as a subject and increasing use of the target language in modern languages, with parallel English classes in Mathematics and/or Science in years 9-11
2B (2 schools) 14/15 1 14 17-10 3/4 5-1
EW (3 schools) 10 11-5 0 0 0 0
EM (4 schools) 4 7-0 0 0 0 0



1 Welsh medium
2A Bilingual
2B Bilingual
EW English school with significant use of Welsh
EM English medium school


All schools 2B, EW and EM have the potential to develop provision – particularly at Key Stages 4 and 5 (where relevant). There will be support to increase the provision of these schools. We will identify a current school category and a new category for each school to aim for over the decade of the strategy. The speed and range of subject development will be subject to local conditions, not least staff proficiency and growth in demand for Welsh-medium education in school catchment areas. However, it is possible to offer approximations as follows in terms of the number of subjects it is hoped will be developed:


Input Model (increasing number of subjects): 

  Increase in Number of Subjects (5 years) Increase in Number of subjects (10 years)
School  KS3 KS4  KS5  KS3  KS4  KS5 




















































Output Model - Achieving an increase in the number of learners gaining recognised qualifications:

We aim to increase the number of learners following part of their curriculum through the medium of Welsh in our EM and EW schools. Building on previous discussions, this can happen by establishing at least one KS3 stream in our EM schools by 2027 (Net increase of 210 pupils as a baseline). Some EM schools would be in a position by 2032 to start developing some Welsh-medium pathways at KS4.
In our EW schools, we can consider aiming for one or two equivalent Welsh-medium classes at KS3 (Net increase of 273 pupils), with pathways to KS4 for those pupils by 2032.

The aim in 2B schools would be to ensure that at least 40% of pupils in schools undertake at least 70% of their activities through the medium of Welsh at KS3 by 2027, raising the percentage to at least 60% of pupils by 2032. Natural growth at KS3 will have a positive impact on the numbers studying subjects through the medium of Welsh at KS4 during the lifetime of the strategy in these schools.
Our Welsh Education Partnership (WRE) has evolved as a powerful partnership, mainly between our category 1 and 2A post-16 schools. The partnership offers a dozen courses in year 12 and a dozen in year 13 (2022/23) through an innovative collaboration model, based on the delivery of blended learning, which has proven to be a very successful model.

The range of topics include:

Curricular Area Number of Subjects

Vocational (Business, Childcare, Tourism)

Social Service (Public Services, Politics, Criminology, Psychology) 4
Modern Language ( French, Spanish) 2
Science & Technology ( Agriculture, Electronics, Food Science and Nutrition , Engineering) 5

*There have also been discussions regarding AS and BTEC Sport Additional Mathematics


The average class size is 14, with a range of between 1 and 39. Combining classes across two or three schools ensures that there is a critical mass of students available to maintain the subjects. Without the collaboration, 9 subjects with 5 or fewer students in year 12 and 11 subjects with fewer than 5 students in year 13 would be at risk of not being maintained across the 3 schools:

This offers a considerable amount of learning pathways that would have been unsustainable without the partnership. The aim is therefore to try to offer students as much choice as possible, but to do this in a financially viable and sustainable way.

In terms of the total number of students benefiting from the partnership, the table below shows a healthy situation:

 School  Total Students Year 12  Year 13 
 School 1 152 79  73 
 School 2A 135  81  54 
 School 2A 51  35  16 
 TOTAL 338  195  143 


In terms of administering the partnership one or more schools lead on a particular subject, offering their staff as required. The County's 14-19 network offers funding to support the partnership, and cash flow comes through the Welsh Government's per capita funding, promotion for the Welsh language and specific allocations of almost £92,000 awarded locally in top-slicing the post-16 grant, to stimulate collaboration across providers.

Carmarthenshire is working alongside Ceredigion and Powys in providing the E-sgol project. E-sgol uses technology in an innovative way that makes a real difference to students in rural areas by increasing the subjects available to them and broadening their career options after school. There is currently 1 subject (Criminology) running and the low number is judged to be since PAG is so successful, with some challenges then in harmonising other school timetables outside the PAG. Depending on how E-sgol develops, there remains potential to extend the offer to the 14-16 age range. If this were possible, it would offer opportunities to extend Welsh-medium learning pathways across more secondary schools in the County. We can approximate that an additional 3-5 E-sgol subjects would run in our schools by 2027 and 8-10 by 2032.

  • 2026-2027

    To achieve the above developments, we will move all schools along the language continuum by:

    • Working with schools to develop the curriculum, affording opportunities for more learners to have access to Welsh medium and bilingual teaching.
    • Adopting a strategic approach to the subject offer
    • Increasing the volume of learners pursuing Welsh medium and bilingual options and, ultimately, more progressing to take qualifications at 16 years of age


    This will ensure that more learners will study for, and complete, assessed qualifications at statutory school leaving age and beyond, whilst also being assessed internally by schools at key points in their learning journey (such as ages 5,7,11 and 14).

    The strategy to realise this outcome, can be pursued via the following framework:

    • Curriculum Development: a strategic approach to increasing the proportion of Welsh medium subject delivery offered by all our schools.
    • Secondary School Model (see table above): increasing the number of subjects available through the medium of Welsh, resulting in an increasing percentage of the curriculum offer available through Welsh, whilst also increasing the proportion of learners who opt for Welsh medium or bilingual subject tuition.
    • Primary School Model: increasing the quanta of Welsh medium delivery can be similarly modelled.
    • Expand our use of E-sgol towards the future, including how we can develop our Welsh-medium post-16 curricular offer in our 2B schools.
    • Extend PAG thinking, and the operating principles, to include schools and other providers, which would involve maintaining a similar number of subjects across our schools. If this is realised, significant growth is anticipated in the County's Welsh-medium post-16 provision.


    A Strategic Approach to increasing the Welsh-medium Subject Offer

    Increasing the number of subjects available through the medium of Welsh can be achieved:

    • In a practical manner, the subjects can be increased due to opportunities which exist within the present staffing cohort, such as a teacher already being able to deliver subject content through the medium of Welsh.
    • In a planned approach, by:
      • Mapping out how many more staff can be encouraged to teach through the medium of Welsh by supporting them with bespoke professional development. Note: Every member of staff will be afforded opportunities to develop their bilingualism, if required, and it is our duty under this policy to offer that support)
      • Making staff appointments which assist with moving the school along the language continuum
      • In a strategic manner, with deference to how different subject areas can support schools at different stages of their linguistic journey.

    Towards the medium term and beyond, we aim to offer positive input whilst developing Welsh as one continuum, including options in the medium term to dual register pupils at GCSE level in the relevant schools. Additionally, we wish to:

    • develop and promote the contribution older students in 11-18 schools can make as role models and mentors
    • extend the proficiency of the Youth Support Service, especially based in schools in order to promote informal use of Welsh and develop promotional material which shows the value placed on bilingualism by employers.


    In addition, we will:

    • Work with employers and higher education to promote bilingualism as a key skill for further education and the world of work.
    • Promote improved skills for the lifelong use of the Welsh language (research into and develop a Professional Welsh module for post-16 students e.g., through Welsh Bac)
    • We intend developing a strategy of recruiting more young people to study A Level/AS Level Welsh, especially boys. Changes in the exam papers need to be fully addressed to aid change. This is a national challenge, with a 24% fall in the number of A-level first language students in Wales between 2008/9 and 2020/21, and a 60% fall in Welsh Second Language numbers over the same period. As a result, it will be necessary to work alongside WJEC and subject teachers within and outside the County to deliver. Tracking the views of students and prospective students will be very important in understanding the reasons for the fall and how to go about reversing the situation.
    • We also want to work cooperatively to develop a higher course in Professional Welsh. This course to be offered as an A/AS level course via free-standing modular elements that students can aim for, irrespective of whether they are studying Welsh to A Level e.g., Welsh in the workplace and translation.
    • Post 16 certificate/accreditation in Welsh for Scientists - this can entail investigating further possibilities within the Welsh Bac by encouraging students who are not on academic Welsh routes to hone their skills e.g., towards proficiency regarding our skills framework.
    • We will support the Welsh Government campaign to encourage young people to consider Welsh at A Level by referring students to the You Tube channel www.youtube.com/cymraeg as well as through the Welsh language social media channels.
  • 2031-2032

    By the end of the plan, we will have increased the numbers of learners who study for assessed qualifications in Welsh as a subject and be able to offer all subjects through the medium of Welsh within our Welsh medium and bilingual schools.

    We will also strive to ensure linguistic choice within our English schools, which supports progress with pupils’ bilingualism (see table above).

  • Key Data

    The table includes an increase in the numbers and % studying subjects through the medium of Welsh in year 11. It must be remembered that outcome 4 also relates to pupils in years 10,12,13. So actual numbers will be higher.

    The numbers and % of learners that study for Welsh qualification (as a subject) and subjects through the medium of Welsh.

    2022-2023 2023-2024 2024-2025 2025-2026 2026-2027
    1350 (Year 11 only)  / 72%       1465 (Year 11 (+115))  /  78%


    2027-2028 2028-2029 2029-2030 2030-2031 2031-2032
            1581 (Year 11 (+231))  / 84%