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Investing in the National Sabbatical Scheme

13 October 2011

Sabbatical scheme webEducation Minister Leighton Andrews with a group of practitioners who have undertaken courses in the Welsh language Sabbatical Scheme at Cardiff University's School of Welsh

Cardiff University’s contribution to a multi-million pound scheme to improve standards in Welsh medium-teaching and learning will be launched by Education Minister Leighton Andrews tonight (13 October).

The Welsh language Sabbatical Scheme is a course designed for teachers, lecturers and classroom assistants who want to raise the standard of their Welsh and gain confidence in using the language.

Cardiff University’s School of Welsh will launch its contribution to the scheme tonight at 6pm in Aberdare Hall, Corbett Road, where the Minister will give a keynote address.

It is hoped the £6M scheme will increase the supply of practitioners able to teach and train through the medium of Welsh in statutory and post-16 education.

The School of Welsh contributed to the successful pilot scheme which began in 2005, with a team of experienced language tutors providing courses for secondary and primary school teachers and lecturers from FE colleges.

The latest round of funding will allow the programme to be rolled-out to further locations, with a range of courses at different levels and new modes of learning benefiting an extra 648 people.

Cardiff University’s School of Welsh will deliver Foundation-level and Entry-level courses in Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan, and Higher-level courses in Cardiff and the south east region.

The Higher level course provided by the School of Welsh is now a Cardiff University accredited qualification, while the Entry and Foundation level courses will be accredited by the WJEC.

Professor Sioned Davies, Head of Cardiff University’s School of Welsh, said: "For the past five years, Cardiff's School of Welsh has been working closely with Bangor University’s Canolfan Bedwyr to deliver this innovative Scheme, with Trinity St David's joining the team two years ago.

"From September this year, the Scheme will become an all-Wales project with input from several HE institutions. Today we are launching Cardiff's particular contribution to the provision and also celebrating the success of those practitioners who qualified with us here in Cardiff over the past two years. We very much welcome this further investment in the Scheme and look forward to working closely with schools in the region."

Cardiff University will be providing 33% of the overall provision for the Higher-level courses and 18% of the provision for the Entry and Foundation levels.

Those who are fluent Welsh speakers and aim to teach through the medium of Welsh, as well as primary teachers who wish to improve their language skills, can take part in the course along with classroom assistants who need the skills to support their colleagues.

The provision is free – the Welsh Government pays for supply cover as well as all travel and accommodation costs.

As part of the launch, the Minister will also present certificates to practitioners who have qualified with Cardiff University over the past two years.

For further information on the Welsh language Sabbatical Scheme, contact Lois Roberts at the Cardiff School of Welsh on 029 2087 0637 or email

Related links

Cardiff School of Welsh