Wales

Welsh lessons only for new pupils at four Carmarthenshire schools

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Four Carmarthenshire primary schools will teach new pupils entirely in Welsh from next year, council bosses have decided.

Education in English or Welsh would then be offered from the age of seven at the schools in Carmarthen, Newcastle Emlyn, St Clears and Whitland.

The council's Plaid Cymru leaders have said the change to the foundation phase will boost bilingualism.

A statutory 28-day notice of the change will now be published.

The schools concerned - Ysgol Llangynnwr in Carmarthen, Ysgol y Ddwylan in Newcastle Emlyn, Ysgol Griffith Jones in St Clears and Ysgol Llys Hywel in Whitland - are currently dual stream, where parents can choose whether their children are taught through the medium of English or Welsh.

Councillor Glynog Davies, the cabinet member for education, told his colleagues the aim was to ensure pupils were confident in both languages.

He said he was "disappointed" with the the lack of response to consultation, but claimed pupils in the four schools were happy with the changes.

Consultation had shown some objections from parents who feared a lack of choice and claimed their children's English skills could suffer.

Meanwhile, another dual stream primary school - Ysgol Rhys Prichard in Llandovery - will become entirely Welsh medium.

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