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Welsh Language

Volume 130: debated on Wednesday 30 March 1988

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To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what steps he is taking to reduce the continuing shortage of Welsh medium teachers in all secondary school subjects.

I am proposing to introduce a teacher training incentive supplement which I hope will encourage Welsh-speaking graduates to consider teaching as a career. It is designed in particular for those who need some practice and additional language immersion to give them the confidence to use their Welsh in a formal teaching situation.The supplement, to be paid in addition to the normal mandatory maintenance grant, will be £1,200. Selected students will he expected to attend additional language workshops to improve their command of the language. These additional attendances will take place during the vacation periods.The scheme will be available in the first instance for secondary post-graduate certificate of education courses at UCW Aberystwyth, UCNW Bangor, University college, Cardiff (home economics), Gwent college of higher education (CDT) and Trinity college Carmarthen (religious education). The scheme is being introduced on a trial basis for 1988 and 1989. If it leads to an increase in the number of students training through the medium of Welsh it could be extended in future years.