A WELSH language education stream will be formally established from next September at a primary school in the village of Abercraf near Ystradgynlais.
At a meeting of Powys County Council’s Cabinet on Tuesday, March 7 councillors considered the consultation response on the proposal for Ysgol y Cribarth which is at the head of the Swansea valley.
Of the 124 children at the school – 20 are currently educated in Welsh.
The council’s education department have been working closely with the school for the last three years to start up Welsh medium education there.
A pilot scheme that seeded Welsh medium education in the reception class with the hope it would grow through the rest of the school was deemed successful.
The consultation took place between December 19 and February 6 and 46 people took part but just 24 of the responses were from people associated with the school.
Concerns raised by the process were that some pupils may choose to attend Ysgol y Cribarth instead of attending the areas Welsh medium school, Ysgol Gymraeg Dyffryn y Glowyr in nearby Lower Cwmtwrch.
Another issue highlighted in the consultation is that pupils from Cribarth could leave Powys to continue their education through Welsh at Ysgol Gymraeg Bro Dur secondary school in Ystalyfera which is in the county borough of Neath Port Talbot.
School’s transformation manager, Marianne Evans said: “Ysgol y Cribarth is starting on its journey and the intention is that it becomes a dual stream school.
“Ysgol Dyffryn y Glowyr is a success story and shows there is significant demand for Welsh medium education in this area.
“Dyffryn y Glowyr will have an important role to play in the whole area with fully immersive Welsh medium education.”
Education portfolio holder Cllr Pete Roberts put the proposal to a vote and said that the change would take place from September 2023.
Cabinet approved the proposal unanimously.
Deputy council leader, Cllr Matthew Dorrance said: “Cabinet have set the direction of improving the Welsh medium offer in this part of the county.”
Following the meeting, Plaid Cymru group leader, Cllr Elwyn Vaughan who chairs the council’s Welsh medium education panel welcomed the decision.
Cllr Vaughan said: “I welcome today’s decision by the council to establish a Welsh medium stream at Cwm Tawe’s Ysgol Y Cribarth.
“We need to move the whole area along the language continuum.”