Welsh Language Commissioner, Aled Roberts has determined that the City and County of Swansea Council has broken seven of the Welsh language standards when they proposed to close the Welsh medium primary school, Ysgol Gynradd Gymraeg Felindre.
The investigation was conducted following a complaint by a member of the public who claimed that the council had not consulted sufficiently before proposing to close the school and had not considered the effect the change in policy would have on the Welsh language.
Six out of the seven standards that were broken were in relation to policy decisions – standards which ask organisations to consider the effect of any change in policy on the Welsh language.
The Commissioner determined that the council had not considered the effect of the new policy on opportunities to use Welsh, nor had they considered or sought opinions on the possible effects in the consultation document.
He also determined that they hadn’t considered if Welsh would be treated less favourable than English when changing the policy and that this had not been considered or included adequately in the consultation documents.
The Welsh Language Commissioner, Aled Roberts, said, “We received a complaint asking us to investigate the allegation that the council had broken the standards. Following the investigation, I have determined that seven of the standards have been broken.
“The council have been given enforcement action points that they must follow, which means that they will have a robust system to consider the effect of policy decisions on the Welsh language in future. They included points such as amending their consultation documents and creating a clear guideline for officers, offering guidance on how to measure effect.
“This ruling will not change their decision to close Ysgol Gynradd Gymraeg Felindre. But it will ensure that in future they will consider and consult fully on the effect a change in policy might have on the Welsh language.”
Notes to the Editor
• A copy of the full report is available here.
• The person that made the complaint is willing to be interviewed. If you would like to arrange an interview, please contact us and we can pass your request on.