News Top News

Exclusive report: Welsh language courses are in limbo

welshWITH new arrangements for the delivery of Welsh language education for adults, a few weeks from beginning, arrangements for tuition are still not finalised in Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion, and Powys.
The Herald understands that contrary to previous reports, Aberystwyth University is NOT waiting for further information and is NOT waiting for an agreement to sign.
The Herald has been told by a reliable source that the issue boils down to money. Aberystwyth University wants more, and the National Centre for Welsh Learning has refused to give it any.
It is believed that the University wants the Council to pick up redundancy costs, leaving it free to cherry pick staff.
We can reveal that the National Centre has now given the university ten more days to sign the agreement and that clock is already ticking.
The University is insisting that provisions intended to protect the interests of employees whose roles are taken over by a new provider do not apply. However, the University has claimed legal privilege in respect of that advice and refused to share it with the tutors’ employers at Ceredigion County Council.
We can confirm that the Council’s own legal advice has concluded that those protocols should apply and that the Council has set out its position in writing to the University.
The same situation applies to staff in Carmarthenshire.
If the university does not sign the agreement, there would probably have to be an emergency re-tendering exercise and the whole mess could end up bogged down in lengthy recriminations and legal proceedings.
We asked the National Centre for Welsh Learning and Aberystwyth University to comment.
A spokesperson for the National Centre told us: “We emphasise again that detailed discussions regarding the provision of Welsh language courses in Ceredigion, Powys and Carmarthenshire are ongoing between the National Centre for Learning Welsh and Aberystwyth University and a formal response is expected shortly from the University.
“The Centre is fully-committed to ensuring Welsh courses are available across Wales from September onwards.”
A spokesperson for the University said: “Discussions with the National Centre for Learning Welsh and other providers are continuing. We hope a final decision will be made by the end of June.”
In a late-breaking development, we understand that after a series of complaints to Adam Price AM, the University has claimed that agreement with the National Centre is imminent.
SEE OUR FULL REPORT in The Ceredigion Herald this week

About the author

Jon Coles

Add Comment

Click here to post a comment