Welsh Language (Wales) Measure 2011
The Welsh Language Measure transfers functions relating to Welsh language schemes to the Welsh Language Commissioner. The Measure also gives legal effect to the official status of the Welsh Language. Over a period of time, Welsh language schemes will be replaced by statutory standards that will place duties on organizations to promote and facilitate the use of the Welsh Language and to treat the Welsh language no less favourably than the English language. They will state how organizations are expected to provide services to the public and how they will treat and use the Welsh language. The College is committed to taking positive actions to implement functions under the new Measure.
Bridgend College is pleased to report it has successfully implemented its first Welsh Language Scheme. Positive feedback has been received and the Welsh Language Commissioner has agreed it is appropriate to proceed to revise its Welsh Language Scheme. Bridgend College’s second Welsh Language Scheme received the approval of the Welsh Language Commissioner under section 14 of the Welsh Language Act on 27 February 2013. This will succeed the first Welsh Language Scheme.
This is a Welsh Language Scheme prepared under the Welsh Language Act 1993. The College is committed to enhancing the guiding principles that in the conduct of public business in Wales, it will treat the English and Welsh languages on a basis of equality. This scheme sets out how Bridgend College will give effect to that principle when providing services to the public in Wales.
The second Welsh Language Scheme seeks to further develop the procedures and practices already implemented to promote both the Welsh language and to develop a bilingual ethos at the College. The scheme will respond to feedback from the Welsh Language Commissioner and from Colegau Cymru/Sgiliaith.
The aims and objectives of the College with respect to the development of the Welsh Language and bilingualism are outlined below and reflect the priorities of the Welsh Government, DFES and Estyn as well as the Colleges own aspiration to be a bilingual institution reflecting equality and inclusivity for the Welsh speaking community.
The scheme is based upon Colegau Cymru’s National Strategy on Bilingualism for Further Education. There are three key elements to the strategy:
Strand 1 – The development of a Welsh ethos at the College.
Strand 2 – The development of bilingual communication skills to augment English medium provision.
Strand 3 – The development of Welsh medium or bilingual provision for Post-14 learners.
Details of how these three strands will be developed are found under sections 4, 5 and 6 of the scheme. Section 3 outlines the procedures that support and facilitate the implementation of the three elements identified above.
The implementation of the Welsh Language Scheme will allow the College to meet its four aims:
To develop procedures to ensure the English and Welsh languages are treated on an equal basis and continue to provide and develop high quality services through both mediums.
To further develop a Welsh/bilingual curriculum which is flexible and responsive to meet the needs of learners, the community and other stakeholders.
To ensure that members of the public have the opportunity and the right to choose the language they would like to use when conducting business with the College.
To publicise, promote and further develop a bilingual ethos within the College, demonstrating its commitment to the Welsh Language Act 1993.
In recent years the College has revised its mission statement so that it sets out our clear intent to be ‘the outstanding College committed to your success’.
The College has its main campuses at Cowbridge Road in Bridgend and at Pencoed with a further smaller campus specialising in some areas of our higher education provision and including a new Centre for Media Technologies at Queen’s Road on the Bridgend Industrial site. The College also has a community College in Maesteg as well as offering provision via partnerships at community locations including schools, in the workplace and on line. It also part owns with the Borough Council a property on the Pyle Industrial Estate where it delivers a foundation programme in Media Skills to potential NEETS. All of these campuses vary in size and nature and most offer a variety of programmes.
The College delivers a comprehensive and broad range of academic and vocational courses and training programmes across all ‘subject sector areas’. These courses range from entry level to postgraduate level in response to the needs of our local communities. It offers further education, adult and community learning, higher education and work based learning and provides for an ever increasing number of 14-19 school pupils who attend at the College or who are taught by College staff at their schools.
Of the 2,600 full time students at the College, over 1,000 travel into Bridgend every day from outside the Borough with the total number studying at the College being almost twice the number of 16-18 year old students studying at all 10 local secondary schools within Bridgend.
The College has an annual turnover of £27m, only around two thirds of this is provided via DfES and therefore the College has one of the lowest reliance on DfES funding.
The College currently employs a total of around 900 staff of whom over 500 are directly involved in teaching. The College is the fourth largest employer within Bridgend County.
The College has a strong local reputation for the quality of its programmes. In terms of external performance measures the College has Investors in People status, the Basic Skills Quality Mark as well as BS 5750 status. In recent years the College has continued to focus on a range of national awards or prizes and has either won a range of awards including the AOC Beacon Awards, Colegau Cymru Awards, TUC Quality Award and UFI Employer Engagement Award.
The College enjoys an excellent reputation for quality. In the Estyn inspection of 2009 the College achieved 10 Grade 1’s and 5 Grade 2 though one of the recommendations did identify the need to “do more to promote the value of Welsh/bilingualism across the College”.
The College is led by the Principal / Chief Executive within the College’s Senior Management Group – the Strategic Planning Group – which includes the Deputy Principal, 2 Assistant Principals with specific areas of responsibility and the HR Manager. The Curriculum is delivered through 8 Schools each of which has a Head and a Deputy Head.
The College has 4 pillars of core activity:
Full time programmes – These have developed under the ‘transformation agenda’ to include the offer of both academic and vocational programmes to all post 14 pupils within our 10 local partner schools within the school ‘options’. In the past 8 years this has included the flagship ‘Twilight A Level provision’ where over 200 school pupils per annum come to the College for 2 sessions per week to study a 3rd or 4th A Level that is not usually available to them within their individual schools.
Part time programmes – the widest range of both work related and lifelong learning courses delivered in partnership within the Community Education Department within the Borough Council to whom we franchise over 50% of their income. This allows the College to be more responsive in meeting the social inclusion and widening participation agendas.
Higher Education programmes – franchised through strong partnerships with University of Glamorgan, Cardiff Metropolitan University and University of Wales, Newport. Over 1,000 students study HE at Bridgend College, we are one of the highest providers of HE in FE.
Employer Links – the continued development of our links and partnerships with local and national partners has been fostered through our Employer Liaison Manager and the establishment of ‘Engage’ training, we have a large work based learning team.
Bridgend College is situated in an important economic and geographical position, midway between the cities of Cardiff and Swansea. Bridgend County Borough stretches roughly 20 km from west to east, taking in the Llynfi, Garw and Ogmore valleys. The largest town Bridgend, has a population of 41,910. The other large towns are Maesteg (pop. 20,704), Porthcawl (pop. 15,892) and Pencoed (pop. 9,458).
In 2010 the total population for Bridgend County is estimated at 133,900 of which 25,560 were below the age of 15 years, 81,140 were of working age and 27,200 were of retirement age.
The proportion of the population over the age of retirement is expected to rise from 19.2% in 1996 to 22.9% in 2016 representing an increase of 7,120. Persons in the 30-44 economically active age band will remain almost static. The older economically active population over the age of 45 is forecast to increase by a net figure of 3,702 persons.
According to 2001 census, 11% [13,397] of the Bridgend County population are able to speak Welsh. The data also outlined that 19,449 were able to speak, read or write Welsh. The census also showed that 25% within the 3-15 age group and 13% within the 16-24 age group are able to speak Welsh. However these are geographical variation within the county with only 5% able to speak Welsh in Porthcawl East WARD compared to 11% in Llangynwyd.
There are 4 Welsh medium primary schools within Bridgend County and Bridgend County opened its first Welsh medium comprehensive school in 2008. Ysgol Llangynwyd currently only has pupils up to year 10. Prior to the opening of Ysgol Gyfun Llangynwyd pupils from Bridgend travelled to Ysgol Gyfun Llanhari within Rhondda Cynon Taff. Around 700 pupils from Bridgend County have a Welsh medium secondary education either at Llangynwyd or Llanhari. The College has excellent links with both schools and has developed several partnership courses including Construction, Motor Vehicle, and Health & Social Care which are delivered to Key Stage 4 pupils by College staff.
The College is a partner of the University of Glamorgan Welsh for Adults Centre. Bridgend College employs a full time Welsh for Adults lecturer/Co-ordinator as well as part time lecturers to deliver 40 hours of Welsh classes throughout the local community. The courses are available at venues throughout the county.
The importance of Welsh and bilingualism is recognised by the College. This has been reinforced by the Welsh Governments Welsh Medium Education Strategy. Between 150-200 Welsh speaking students enrol each year for College full time courses.
Bridgend College is one of the biggest centres for the Welsh Baccalaureate in Wales and more than 200 students undertake Welsh language units as part of the programme. In addition, learners in Health & Social Care, Land Based Studies and Hair & Beauty follow vocational modules through the medium of Welsh.
IMPLEMENTATION AND MONITORING / SERVICE PLANINNG AND DELIVERY
3.1.1 In implementing its second Welsh Language Scheme, Bridgend College will continue to create a supportive environment that encourages Welsh speaking learners, staff and members of the public to actively use the language both inside and outside the classroom. The College will continue to raise awareness and ensure that non Welsh speakers are encouraged to become more involved with the Welsh language and Welsh culture.
3.2 Responsibilities for Implementation and Monitoring
3.2.2 The Assistant Principal, Curriculum and Quality is responsible for implementation and monitoring of the Welsh Language Scheme. Members of the Strategic Planning Group [SPG] will continue to undertake responsibility for the compliance and implementation of the scheme within their own areas of responsibility.
3.2.3 The Colleges Welsh Language Committee will continue to oversee, monitor and review the implementation of the scheme. The committee is chaired by the Assistant Principal, Curriculum and Quality and includes representation from all areas of the College including the Principal, H.R, Student Services, Staff Development, MIS, Estates, Finance as well as representatives from teaching staff.
The College also has a Welsh group which implements the operational aspects of the scheme. This group is chaired by the Assistant Principal, Curriculum and Quality and includes the Staff Development and Welsh Manager, the College Welsh Language Co-ordinator and the Welsh for Adults Co-ordinator. This group are all Welsh speaking and provide a visible presence for the promotion and development of Welsh across the College.
3.2.4 Anyone wishing to comment on the scheme or for further information should contact:
Welsh and Bilingualism Manager
Tel: 01656 302302
3.3 Administrative Arrangements.
3.3.1 Authority: The College will ensure that the arrangements noted in the scheme are approved at the highest level, and implemented accordingly
The Welsh Language Scheme has been prepared by the Assistant Principal, Curriculum and Quality, in consultation with the Welsh Language Committee and has been approved by the College Governing Body
3.3.2 Responsibility: The Principal has ultimate responsibility for the scheme but has delegated responsibility and authority to academic and business support managers for implementing those aspects that relate to their operational area [Target 1]
3.3.3 Instruction and Guidance: The College will ensure that all staff are familiar with the scheme. The Welsh Language Scheme will be available bilingually via the website and intranet. Details will also be included within staff handbooks, staff briefings and the College Newsletter [Target 2].
3.3.4 The College will integrate admin functions related to the scheme into its administrative procedures, and the requirements of the scheme will be considered as part of every specification for procurement of computer systems and software. Where current computer systems cannot be modified the College will consider cost-effective alternatives [Target 3].
3.3.5 Whenever translation work is required, the College will only use translators with valid qualifications or approved translation services [Target 4].
3.3.6 The College HR Manger will monitor and report on progress with respect to recruitment targets.
3.3.7 The College Staff Development Manager will monitor and report on progress with respect to staff development targets.
3.4 Policies and New Initiatives
3.4.1 As the Welsh Language Scheme is implemented the College will ensure that it keeps to the principle of equality contained in the requirements of the Language Act of 1993. The College will ensure that any consultants or members of staff responsible for the formation or updating of policy will be aware of the Language Scheme and the College’s responsibilities under the Welsh Language Act.
3.4.2 The College will consult with the Welsh Language Commissioner concerning any new developments likely to affect the scheme and it will not amend the contents of the scheme without the prior agreement of the Board. All new policies and initiatives will be consistent with the scheme and will not undermine it in any way. [Target 5]
3.4.3 The College will ensure that any new or revised developments on initiatives will adhere to move the principle of equality at every opportunity.
3.4.4 The College has a comprehensive range of policies and procedures, as each policy is due for review as well as any new policies and initiatives the College will assess the linguistic consequences against a language framework that:
Will promote and facilitate the use of Welsh whenever possible.
Make progress towards the achievement of the principle of equality between the two official languages of Wales.
Will ensure consistency with the Colleges Welsh Language Scheme.
3.4.5 All new policies, procedures and initiatives will be assessed against the same framework as outlined in 3.4.4 above. No new policy procedure or initiative will be adopted without that assessment having been undertaken and documented. Externally facing policies will be translated over the life of the scheme [Target 6]. Any new or revised externally facing policies will be bilingual from the beginning.
3.4.6 The College will continue to ensure that every measure contained in the scheme will be applied to all new or revised policies and initiatives when they are implemented.
3.4.7 Existing staff will receive briefings outlining the contents of the new Welsh Language Scheme and new staff will be made aware of the scheme as part of the induction process.
3.5 Third Party Compliance
3.5.1 The College works in partnership with a range of organisations including public bodies, third sector organisations and other agencies. The College works in partnership at many levels when working with others:
When the College is the strategic and financial leader within a partnership, it will ensure that the public service provision is compliant with the Welsh Language Scheme.
When the College joins a partnership in which any other body is leading, the College’s input will comply with the Welsh Language Scheme and the College will encourage other parties to comply.
When the College is a partner in a consortium, it will encourage the consortium to adopt a bilingual policy. When acting publicly in the name of the consortium, the College will act in accordance with its Welsh Language Scheme.
When the College joins or forms a partnership, it will ask prospective partners about their Welsh Language Schemes, Language Policies or means by which they will operate bilingually. Within any partnership, the College will offer advice and support to the other partner organisations.
3.5.2 Various services provided on behalf of the College may be operated by other organisations such as contractors, consultants, agencies, firms and individuals. All agreements and arrangements for external organisations of this nature to undertake the provision of services to the public in Wales on its behalf will comply fully with the term and requirements of this scheme [Target 7].
3.5.3 The chief officer responsible for the scheme will supervise and facilitate the implementation of these commitments by:
Providing written procedures to staff for dealing with agents and contractors, and processes for ensuring staff are dealing with them.
Specifying the requirements as to the use of the Welsh language in tendering documents, contracts and grant or loan conditions.
Monitoring the implementation of the scheme by agents and contractors.
Encouraging those contractors with their own Welsh Language Scheme to implement relevant aspects.
Obtaining regular performance reports from contractors and agents [Target 8].
3.6 Enabling the College Staff to Provide a Complete Service through the Medium of Welsh
3.6.1 The College is committed to increasing the number of Welsh speakers who possess the appropriate linguistic skills to provide College services through the medium of Welsh. Staff are central in ensuring the targets within this scheme are fulfilled. In order to achieve this, the College, through its Welsh Language Committee, recognises that it essential to develop the skills of the staff in terms of Welsh speaking and delivery.
3.6.2 Linguistic Skills
126.96.36.199 In order to ensure the College is able to deliver its services in Welsh, it will continue to implement its linguistic skills strategy as part of its Human Resource Planning. The College conducted a linguistic skills survey in 2008 and identified 47 members of staff who are able to speak Welsh. 33 were lecturers and 14 were support staff. To ensure the College has an accurate record of staff linguistic skills a comprehensive survey of staff will be undertaken in 2012 to inform the process of forming a linguistic skills strategy [Target 9]. This survey will be repeated annually and all new staff will complete the survey on entry to the College.
3.6.3 Human Resources Strategy (HR Strategy)
The College will formalise its HR Strategy that will indicate how Welsh language skills will be developed and outlined. Reference will be made to linguistic requirements at recruitment and also the continued development of existing staff.
188.8.131.52 The College will identify posts where the ability to speak Welsh is essential and those where it is desirable. Consideration will be given to those areas with the greatest amount of contact with learners and the public [Target 10]
184.108.40.206 The College will identify the level of proficiency that is either required or desirable within each post or within a staff team and to take appropriate action to achieve this as part of the overall college human resource strategy.
220.127.116.11 In order to give practical effect to the strategy as early as possible, consideration will be given in each case to whether it is appropriate to re-assign staff duties, to recruit additional staff or to provide appropriate staff development.
18.104.22.168 The HR Strategy will identify priorities for action and identify the budgetary consequences
22.214.171.124 Welsh language development will be incorporated as part of staff development and continual professional development.
126.96.36.199 The College will brief all new staff within its induction programme.
188.8.131.52 The College’s linguistic skills framework will be used to assess and identify the linguistic needs of posts in relation to both academic and service needs. For all posts for which Welsh language ability is considered either essential or desirable, the advertisement and personnel specification will state this explicitly.
184.108.40.206 The HR strategy will contain specific reference to the bilingual policy and that both English and Welsh speakers are welcome as members of the college staff. The staff handbook will also make this clear. Through its linguistic skills strategy the college will develop the language skills of the staff in order to facilitate an increased bilingual delivery program.
220.127.116.11 If a non Welsh speaker is appointed to a post where Welsh is considered essential, it will be on condition that the job holder learns the language to an agreed standard by an agreed time, with the Colleges’ full support. All advertisements for posts requiring Welsh language skills, together with the relevant job description and details will be drafted in such a way as to identify clearly the linguistic requirements of each post.
18.104.22.168 When the ability to communicate in Welsh is an essential qualification for a post, this will be clearly stated in the advertisement and the job details. If there is a shortage of potential Welsh speaking applicants in any specific field, the College will advertise the post and state in the advertisement that applications from non-Welsh speakers will be welcomed on the firm condition that if a non-Welsh speaker is appointed, he/she will learn Welsh to the standard required for fulfilling the post, and will do so within a specified period. All arrangements of this nature will be treated as a fair and constructive partnership between employer and employee, with the employer for his part providing strong encouragement and practical support for the employee, and the employee in turn making a fair effort to gain the necessary skills. By acting in such a manner, the College will treat linguistic skills in exactly the same manner as any other professional skill required to fulfil the responsibilities of a post and subject to review within a certain period. This condition of employment must therefore be respected and implemented as strictly as any other condition of employment for the post, and the employee’s manager will review the standard of achievement reached by the end of the specified period following the appointment.
3.6.5 Staff Development
22.214.171.124 The College has been pro-active in supporting staff to learn Welsh. The College works in partnership with Glamorgan Welsh for Adults Centre in the delivery of part time Welsh for Adults (WfA) courses across the borough including on-site courses for all college staff. All staff are encouraged to learn Welsh and where possible they enrol on to one of the part time accredited courses offered in conjunction with Glamorgan WfA Centre. Staff enrolled on these courses are given the opportunity to undertake the WJEC qualifications (Mynediad, Sylfaen, Canolradd, Uwch and Hyfedredd as well as the credit options available) A rolling programme of tailored, shorter courses (10 or 15 weeks) is also available to all staff and accredited via Agored units. Teaching staff wishing to deliver through the medium of Welsh are encouraged to consider the Sabbatical Scheme and other alternative courses such as Hyfedredd or Gloywi Iaith. A recent initiative, offered as part of the Staff Development programme, was a residential course at Glan-llyn, bringing together both Welsh speaking staff and learners together on an intensive Welsh course. The College is looking to extend these initiatives further.
126.96.36.199 The College will support members of staff who wish to learn or improve their Welsh by:
Identifying and encouraging staff who wish to learn or improve their Welsh
Circulating information regarding Welsh Language courses in the College to all staff
Providing Welsh Language courses to staff free of charge and within working hours when agreed this is an essential requirement for the job. The College is also aware of the on-going negotiations with respect to the new Lecturer Contract.
Raising staff awareness of Welsh language courses by regular promotion of their availability through staff notices, intranet, and incorporation in College training days [Target 11].
3.6.3 During Performance Management and Review [PMAR/Appraisals] staff will be encouraged to consider developing Welsh language skills. This will be supplied by the College CPD Programme and Policy.
3.7 Vocational Training
3.7.1 The College will assess the need for vocational training for its staff through the medium of Welsh, and ensure that those responsible for recruitment and staff development implement a programme to fulfil that need. These may include various circumstances from the learning of face-to-face communication skills for a reception area to skills required for discussing the personal circumstances of individual students.
3.7.2 The College will implement a Linguistic Skills Strategy to identify actions that are required to develop staff Welsh language skills.
3.7.3 The College will monitor the number of Welsh speaking staff members required and take action if that number falls below the required level [Target 12].
3.8 Reviewing the Implementation of the Scheme
3.8.1 The College will monitor the implementation of the scheme via the Colleges Welsh Language Committee. The Committee will receive termly reports on progress towards objectives [Target 13].
3.8.2 The Assistant Principal, Curriculum and Quality will produce an annual compliance report for the Governing Body and Welsh Language Commissioner which will aim to achieve the following objectives:
Measure whether the College is complying with the Scheme;
Measure if the Scheme is being appropriately managed;
Analyse its performance on a departmental and corporate basis, in order to ensure consistency;
Assess and consider key themes in scheme implementation including Welsh medium/bilingual curriculum development;
Recognise any fundamental weaknesses, and produce any necessary action plans, a copy of this report will be sent to the Welsh Language Commissioner [Target 14].
3.8.3 In the third year of the Scheme’s implementation the College will prepare a comprehensive evaluation report that will assess and evaluate performance in implementing the Scheme since its inception. This report will:
provide an overview and thematic analysis of compliance and performance over the first three years of the Scheme, from two perspectives – service delivery and scheme management;
outline priorities for the following three years, together with a revised timetable for implementing the measures in the scheme.
At this time, the College will revise and update the Welsh Language Scheme [Target 15].
3.8.4 The College will actively seek the feedback of learners, staff and other service users as well as monitoring the numbers of complaints received [Target 16].
3.8.5 The College welcomes and records any suggestions to improve the scheme [Target 17].
3.9 Quality Standards
3.9.1 The College is committed to providing an equally high quality service in Welsh and English. When assessing and measuring the standards and effectiveness of services and provisions in Welsh, the College will employ exactly the same ‘performance indicators and standards’ as those utilised with regards to its services and provisions in English [Target 18].
3.9.2 The College is subject to inspection by Estyn under the Common Inspection Framework. The College undertakes an annual Self Assessment Report which covers Welsh and bilingual issues.
3.9.3 The College will declare its commitment to ensuring equal linguistic standards between its Welsh and English provisions in its corporate plans, annual report, prospectuses and promotional literature [Target 19].
The College is committed to setting specific standards for the use of Welsh across all its sites when providing services dealing with the public and will review the standards and their implementation. It will be the responsibility of the Welsh Language Committee to carry out the review. The team will be responsible for developing, implementing and monitoring services for Welsh speakers. They will ensure that College staff are kept informed of developments. College Managers will be responsible for actively encouraging the development of the Welsh Language Skills of their staff.
The College will promote more use of Welsh in courses across the College where appropriate in line with the agreed targets with Welsh Government for the Bilingual Champion.
The College will provide a more co-ordinated approach to the promotion of the Welsh language
The College will aim to provide more bilingual support for learners who have progressed from Welsh-medium education
The College will aim to extend opportunities for learners to explore the Welsh dimension within their programmes of study where appropriate.
3.10 Comparing Performance against Standards
3.10.1 The College‟s annual report on the scheme will compare its performance against the standards included in the scheme. This will include statistical details of Welsh medium communications conducted throughout the year and the progress of the staff development plan. The full contents of the annual report will be placed on the college website.
3.11 Comments and Complaints
3.11.1 The Assistant Principal, Curriculum and Quality and Staff Development and Welsh Manager shall continually monitor and review the implementation of this Welsh Language Scheme, and that monitoring function shall have a definite structure. Their details are as follows:
Welsh and Bilingualism Manager
Tel: 01656 302302
3.11.2 The College has a rigorous complaints procedure where every complaint is recorded and responded to within 5 working days. Any complaint regarding the implementation of the scheme will be dealt with in accordance with the Colleges complaints procedure.
3.11.3 The College will welcome and record suggestions on how to improve the scheme at any time and will actively seek recommendations/suggestions. This will be done on an annual basis.
3.12 Ensuring Publicity for the Scheme
3.12.1 The College will ensure publicity for its Welsh Language Scheme in order to ensure that, on the one hand, the public and students who come into contact with the College are aware of its Welsh medium services and that on the other hand, the College’s employees, agents and contractors are aware of the need to operate in accordance with the requirements of the Scheme.
3.12.2 The College will adopt the following means of publicising its Welsh Language Scheme:
Posters and leaflets advertising the College’s activities to include reference to the Welsh Language Scheme
Statements and articles to the press and other media
Distribution of summarised electronic/hard copies of the Scheme to both administrative and academic staff
Distribution of copies of the Scheme to other organisations and individuals interested in the College’s Welsh Language provisions
Place the Scheme on the College’s website and Intranet.
Summary of Scheme in staff/learner handbook
Cross college email to staff and learners to make them aware of Scheme at the start of every academic year.
4 THE DEVELOPMENT OF A WELSH ETHOS AT THE COLLEGE (STRAND 1 OF THE STRATEGY)
4.1 Administrative Arrangements
4.1.1 The College will record the Welsh language skills of its staff and will ask for this information from new staff [Target 1].
4.1.2 The College will further develop its list of staff who feel confident enough to join a team to provide services for Welsh speakers. These staff will be encouraged and supported to further improve their Welsh language skills, through appropriate Welsh language development.
All Welsh speaking staff and those who are learning will be encouraged to wear the Welsh Language Board’s ‘Working Welsh’ badges in order to be identified and to promote the use of Welsh [Target 2].
4.1.3 The College will note in its publications those sections where Welsh speakers are available [Target 3].
4.2 Developing a Welsh Ethos within the Curriculum
The college will make the best possible use of staff to enhance a Welsh language ethos and at the same time increase learners understanding and appreciation of their Welsh identity.
4.2.1. As part of its formal induction procedures, the college will include a language and cultural awareness element. This will be developed further within programme areas as appropriate. For example, where courses include elements of communication or customer care or any aspect of interpersonal interaction, the significance of the bilingual nature of Wales will be emphasised. Specific materials will be prepared for this purpose [Target 4].
4.2.2 Welsh language and culture awareness elements will continue to be developed and delivered. During the lifetime of this scheme this will be extended to cover all full and significant part time learners across all subject sector areas. Scheme of work templates will require tutors to identify appropriate Welsh language and cultural opportunities [Target 5].
4.2.3 Course tutors will be supported to create a bilingual and Welsh cultural ethos within their learning environments. This could be achieved by providing bilingual greetings, including cultural references, using examples pertaining to Wales (as recommended by the Cwricwlwm Cymreig) in some situations providing bilingual handouts/task sheets [Target 6].
4.3 Dealing with the Welsh Speaking Public
4.3.1 Written and E-mail Communication
188.8.131.52 The College welcomes correspondence in Welsh or English.
184.108.40.206 The College will continue to respond in Welsh to letters written in Welsh. Responses in Welsh will be subject to the same performance indicators as those written in English [Target 7].
220.127.116.11 Corresponding in Welsh will not in itself lead to delay [Target 8].
18.104.22.168 Letters from the College following a Welsh language conversation (either face to face or via the telephone) will be written in Welsh [Target 9].
22.214.171.124 The College will continue to correspond in Welsh with those who would prefer to do so [Target 10].
126.96.36.199 The College will ensure that standard letters produced centrally for the public in Wales will be published bilingually. Guidelines will be produced for such letters [Target 11].
188.8.131.52 Electronic mail will be treated in the same manner as traditional mail [Target 12].
184.108.40.206 The College will establish a database of those people or organisations wishing to communicate through the medium of Welsh [Target 13].
220.127.116.11 The College will open formal communications bilingually with those whose preferred language is not known [Target 14].
18.104.22.168 The College will ensure that all advertisements/bulletins published on the College website and Moodle will be bilingual when the information is linked to the Welsh language or has a Welsh theme.
22.214.171.124 All staff will have bilingual email signatures
4.3.2 Communicating via the Telephone
126.96.36.199 Anyone telephoning Bridgend College is welcome to speak Welsh or English according to his/her choice. The College will greet all external calls bilingually. As a matter of courtesy, and in order to indicate to telephone callers that a choice of language is being offered. All frontline staff will respond to all external calls with a short bilingual greeting as follows:
Bore da, good morning
Prynhawn da, good afternoon
Frontline staff will continue to receive Welsh language training [Target 15].
188.8.131.52 If the telephone caller speaks in Welsh and the member of staff is unable to speak Welsh, he/she will explain that they are unable to communicate in Welsh and will offer the caller the choice of:
Transferring the call to a Welsh speaking member of staff
Continuing with the call in English
Submitting the query in written form through the medium of Welsh and receiving a written reply in Welsh [Target 16].
184.108.40.206 In order to facilitate the above arrangements, the College will compile a list of members of both administrative and academic staff who are able to deal with telephone enquiries in Welsh. This list will be included on the College website and in the College’s internal telephone directory [Target 17].
220.127.116.11 All recorded messages on the College’s telephone answering machines will be bilingual, and the time target will be the same for replying to Welsh telephone enquiries as for English ones [Target 18].
18.104.22.168 All standard e-mail signatures and out of office auto-responses will be bilingual, and the time target will be the same for replying to Welsh email enquiries as for English ones [Target 19].
4.3.3 Public Meetings
22.214.171.124 At public meetings organised by the College, the College will publicise that members of the public are welcome to communicate with the College in Welsh or English.
126.96.36.199 Every agenda, invitation, summons or advertisement for such meetings shall be bilingual and shall include a note informing the public that they will be welcome to use Welsh or English at the meeting, and requesting them to inform the organiser beforehand which language they wish to use at the meeting [Target 20].
188.8.131.52 Staff who are able to communicate in Welsh will be encouraged to attend public meetings in order to make those in attendance who may wish to use Welsh feel at ease and in order to promote natural bilingualism at such meetings. In order to facilitate this, these staff will wear Working Welsh badges to indicate that they can communicate in Welsh or are learning Welsh [Target 21].
4.3.4 Other Meetings
184.108.40.206 The College will encourage members of staff who are able to converse in Welsh to attend meetings open to the public (for example open evenings or parents’ evenings). The College will give advance notice that bilingual members of staff are available to hold face-to-face discussions. In order to facilitate this, staff will wear ‘Working Welsh’ badges to indicate that they can communicate in Welsh or are learning Welsh [Target 22].
220.127.116.11 Any person who wishes to conduct private or one-to-one meetings with the College is welcome to do so in either Welsh or English. The College will therefore take every step practically possible to offer a language choice each time a meeting is arranged.
18.104.22.168 Where Welsh is the requested medium, arrangements will be made with an appropriate Welsh-speaking member of staff. If there are no Welsh speaking members of staff in the appropriate section, the situation will be explained to the individual who will then be offered the choice of:
Conducting the meeting in English
Submitting a written enquiry in Welsh and receiving a written reply in Welsh
22.214.171.124 By offering a language choice, the college recognises:
That individuals can express their views and needs better in their preferred language
That enabling individuals to use their preferred language is a matter of good practice, not a concession
That denying them the right to use their preferred language could place individuals at a real disadvantage
126.96.36.199 The above measures are applicable to all kinds of non-public meetings.
4.3.5 Dealing with Public in other ways
188.8.131.52 The College will follow the same guidelines as those in 4.3.3 and 4.3.4 above in situations where other means of spoken communication, such as video links or public address systems, are used.
184.108.40.206 The College will ensure that its website is bilingual, with information given on how to contact the College in Welsh electronically. Pages and course databases describing individual courses taught solely through the medium of English may remain in English only [Target 23].
4.4 The Public Face of the College
4.4.1 The Corporate Identity of the College
220.127.116.11 The Colleges corporate identity and public image will be fully bilingual.
18.104.22.168 A bilingual format will be utilised to convey its corporate identity on signage and in publications and the names of its services; the addresses of its offices; its name; its logo; its corporate slogan; its letter headings; its business cards, fax paper, identity badges, greetings slips, and all corporate writing on its premises [Target 24].
22.214.171.124 Other standard materials containing the College name and logo, such as letters, vehicles, fax paper, business cards and badges, will also be bilingual [Target 25].
126.96.36.199 All new or replacement information signs within the boundaries of College property will be bilingual [Target 26].
188.8.131.52 The size, quality, legibility and prominence of the words in both languages will respect the principle of equality [Target 27].
184.108.40.206 Where Welsh and English signs are displayed separately, the size, quality, legibility and prominence of the words in both languages will also respect the principle of equality [Target 28].
220.127.116.11 Where signs are being produced outside of the College, the contents will be sent in word-processed format to ensure correct spelling Target 29].
4.4.4 Publishing and Printing Material
18.104.22.168 Due to the nature of College resources, all printed and publicity materials will promote the Welsh language and the bilingual ethos of the College. A selective approach will be taken as to which documentation will be produced in bilingual format. However, generic information aimed at the public will be published bilingually, either as a single bilingual document or in separate Welsh and English versions, with a presumption in favour of a single bilingual document. Where separate versions are produced, the College will ensure that both are publicised in the same way, and that a supply of both is equally available. The College will also work on the principle that the Welsh language should be used to advertise all those services which the College can provide in Welsh, and that such services should be noted in all major publications, such as the College prospectus, regardless of the main language used. Details of individual courses will be advertised in the same language as the medium of instruction [Target 30].
22.214.171.124 The price of a Welsh version of a document will not be greater than the price of an English version. Also, each version will carry a message that the document is also available in the other language [Target 31].
126.96.36.199 Whenever priced bilingual documents are published, the price will be no higher than a monolingual version of the same document.
188.8.131.52 Whenever Welsh language versions of documents are published, they will be charged at the same price as the English version [Target 32]
184.108.40.206 The College will ensure that staff, consultants, designers and printers receive written instructions on how to deal with bilingual publications. This will include the Welsh Language Commissioner’s Advice Document: Bilingual Drafting, Translation and Interpretation. [Target 33]
220.127.116.11 The College will provide bilingually other types of printed materials, such as Posters, timetables, invoices and cards Target 34].
4.4.5 Forms and Explanatory Materials
18.104.22.168 The College will provide forms and explanatory materials for the public bilingually, preferable within a single document [Target 35].
22.214.171.124 The following categories will be completely bilingual:
Fee Waiver Form
Student Application Form
College Medical disclosure forms
Welsh for Adults Centre Enrolment forms
Employer fees form
126.96.36.199 The following categories will have separate Welsh and English versions:
College enrolment forms
College quality forms
College financial forms
Staff application forms.
Individual Student Learning Agreement
188.8.131.52 The College will ensure that whenever Welsh and English forms and explanatory materials are published separately, they will be published and distributed simultaneously with equal availability of both, and a message confirming availability in the other language [Target 36].
184.108.40.206 The College will keep a database of Welsh speaking customers, and open communications bilingually with those whose preferred language is not known [Target 37].
4.4.6 Notices to the Press
220.127.116.11 Press releases will be sent out in accordance with the receptors language choice. Press releases on the College website will also be bilingual. Press releases in the Welsh language press will be issued bilingually or in Welsh only. Press releases in the non-Welsh medium press will be in English. Press releases sent to all schools, colleges and education establishments will be bilingual, regardless of the subject matter.
4.4.7 Publicity Materials
18.104.22.168 All publicity material, such as prospectuses, will contain generic information bilingually. There will be specific mention of Welsh language opportunities, and consideration will be given to making this information available at other learner points of contact. The College will publicise advantages associated with Welsh language skills. We will treat the two languages on a basis of equality [Target 39].
4.4.8 Advertising Campaigns, Exhibition Materials and Publicity Activities
22.214.171.124 All forms of college advertising to appear only in Wales shall contain bilingual elements, such as bilingual headings and bilingual contact details. The College will treat the two languages on a basis of equality. Materials aimed at Welsh medium schools or the Welsh media will be in Welsh only or bilingual [Target 40].
126.96.36.199 Advertisements and publicity to be placed in media that circulates throughout the U.K. (e.g. the Times Education Supplement) will be in English only. Advertisements to be placed in Welsh language media shall be in Welsh or bilingual as appropriate [Target 41].
188.8.131.52 Response mechanisms linked to the College’s advertising and publicity activities in Wales will enable contact through the medium of Welsh. The College will issue named contacts for this purpose [Target 42].
4.4.10 Official Notices and Recruitment
184.108.40.206 Staff recruitment notices in the National Press will be bilingual whenever Welsh is considered desirable, regardless of whether they are advertised in the Welsh language media or not. Staff recruitment notices for positions where Welsh is essential will be in Welsh only (with a footnote in English) and those where there is no linguistic requirement may be in English only. Recruitment notices placed within FE jobs will be translated, with a target of 50% by 2015 and 100% by 2016.
220.127.116.11 The English and Welsh versions of the bilingual notices in 18.104.22.168 above will be equal in size, quality, legibility and prominence [Target 43].
5 The Development of Bilingual Communication Skills to Augment English Medium Provision [Strand 2 of the Strategy]
5.1. From May 2012 the College has been funded for 3 years to employ a Bilingual Champion. Targets with Welsh Government have been outlined in the agreement.
Each year the College implements a comprehensive Curriculum Planning process. Each Head and Deputy Head of School will meet with the Principal and Deputy Principal to agree the curriculum for each vocational area. Curriculum planning is influenced by learner demand, quality considerations, staff skills as well as Welsh Government and Estyn priorities.
The College is committed to the strategic aims of the Welsh Governments Welsh Medium Education Strategy to:
Increase high quality opportunities for study or training through the medium of Welsh.
To secure linguistic progression from the statutory education phase into Post 16 Education.
Each section of the College will be encouraged to plan for the development of Welsh/bilingualism provision. This will be supported by the College’s strategic planning process. [Target 1]
5.2 To further develop the College services and curriculum the College will implement the following procedures:
Identify learners from Welsh medium schools at or before entry to the College.
Discuss within interviews the language preference of learners with respect to tutorials, work experience, assessments and teaching delivery.
Agree an individual Welsh Learning Plan with those students who wish to participate in any of the Welsh medium opportunities identified above.
The take-up of Welsh language opportunities will be monitored by the Colleges Welsh Language Committee. [Target 2]
5.3. The College will promote bilingual communication skills amongst its learners. The College will target both those who have attended Welsh medium schools and those who have attended English medium schools. The College will seek to increase its Welsh medium Communication qualifications by 25% over the lifetime of the plan. Learners will follow appropriate qualifications such as “Yr Iaith or Waith” Agored units or the ESW Communications qualification. [Target 3]
The Development of Welsh Medium or Bilingual Provision for Post 14 Learners [Strand 3 of the Strategy]
Bridgend College is committed to developing and increasing its Welsh medium provision. It will plan strategically and set achievable targets.
6.1 Current Provision
Currently the College offers a considerable amount of informal support through the medium of Welsh to students who have attended Welsh medium schools through the Welsh speaking lecturers in areas such as Childcare, Art & Design, Hair & Beauty, Motor Vehicle/Engineering, Animal Care/Land Based Studies, Construction as well as within the Welsh Baccalaureate. In addition students in Childcare, Animal Care and Hair & Beauty follow modules from their full time programme through the medium of Welsh. Around 30 students each year undertake a placement in a Welsh speaking organisation. The Colleges Welsh Language Co-ordinator also supports learners by organising the translation of assessments, on-to-one support, translating terminology and organising a range of social activities for Welsh speaking students.
During the next Welsh Language Plan, the College will target six elements to support the development of the Welsh medium curriculum Post 14. These elements are:
Information and Guidance
Teaching and Learning
Assessment [formative and summative]
Work experience and work placements.
6.2 Information and Guidance
The College will enhance the quality of its information and guidance to learners who have attended Welsh medium schools. Interviews through the medium of Welsh will be offered and the College will work with Careers Wales to ensure services are available through the medium of Welsh for those students who request it. The College will also participate in parent evenings’ at local schools. [Target 1]
6.3 Tutorial Support
Tutorial support through the medium of Welsh will be offered. If tutorials cannot be provided from within the course team or school the Colleges’ Welsh Language Co-ordinator will offer a generic tutorial service. [Target 2]
The College has already purchased resources to support Welsh medium learners and will expand resources. In addition the College Libraries will develop catalogues of both printed and electronic resources that are available to Welsh medium learners. [Target 3]
6.5 Teaching and Learning
The College will endeavour to meet the linguistic preferences of all its learners with respect to teaching, tutorials, assessments, resources and support. The learners who have attended Welsh medium schools are usually distributed across to a wide range of courses and therefore bilingual teaching is not appropriate. Therefore the College will offer specific modules taught through the medium of Welsh. These modules will be offered in Animal Care, Childcare, Hair & Beauty, Hospitality and Catering, Art, Design and Media, Business, Essential Skills and Construction over the life of the plan. The College will target a 20 per cent increase in the number of students following vocational modules through the medium of Welsh over the life of the plan. [Target 4]
Appendix 1: Outlines the availability of lecturers who speak Welsh at the College.
Students will be supported and encouraged to submit assignments in Welsh. When requested assignment briefs will be translated and students will be able to be assessed through the medium of Welsh. If the course team/school do not have the services of a Welsh speaking lecturer the College will consider translating the assignment from Welsh to English. [Target 5]
6.7 Work Experience and Work Placement
Around 30 students already undertake a work placement annually through the medium of Welsh, however the promotion and availability of work placements is not consistent. The College is aware that all public sector organisations in Wales are required to have a Welsh Language Scheme and provide a bilingual service. This has created additional demand for bilingual skills within service industries such as Health and Social Care, Childcare, Education, Business and Administration, Tourism and Leisure as well as Hospitality and Catering. The College will prioritise these areas for curriculum development and will promote the benefits of bilingual skills through encouraging students to undertake Welsh medium work experience placements where such opportunities are available. A database of employers offering Welsh language or bilingual placements will be developed. [Target 6]
6.8 Collaboration and Partnership
The College works in partnership with a range of partners to develop Welsh and bilingual services. The College works closely with a range of organisations such as Colegau Cymru, Menter Bro Ogwr, Sgiliaith, the Glamorgan Welsh for Adults Centre, Careers Wales, The Urdd as well as the local Welsh Medium Comprehensive Schools in order to maximise opportunities for the promotion and use of the Welsh language. College staff are currently represented on 8 committees and groups:
Colegau Cymru Bilingualism Network
South East Wales Welsh Language Policy Group
Cross Border 14-19 Welsh medium Group
Bridgend 14-19 Welsh medium Network
Bridgend 14-19 bilingualism Network
Bridgend Welsh-medium Partnership Group
Welsh for Adults Monitoring Group
The establishment of the Welsh Strategic Group has been particularly beneficial. These new pioneering vocational courses have been launched in September 2011 in Motor Vehicle, Engineering, Construction and Childcare. These courses have targeted years 14-16 year olds with the Motor Vehicle and Construction courses being delivered at Bridgend College and the Health and Social Care course at Ysgol Llangynwyd with teaching shared between the College and the School [Target 7].
Timetable and Action Plan
7.1 The Welsh Language Scheme will cover a period of three years from the academic year starting from the date of approval from the Welsh Language Commissioner. An action plan is attached as an appendix to the scheme outlining targets and staff with lead responsibilities for implementation and timescale. The implementation of the scheme will be measured against this action plan.
7.2 The College will begin implementation of the scheme from the date of approval from the Welsh Language Commissioner.