The choice of an English-medium education

It's been some time since I've written about Welsh-medium education, and I thought it might be good to make up for that by trying to put what has been headline news this past week into a wider perspective. That news was the story in the Western Mail about the local Chamber of Commerce's objection to Ysgol Gynradd Aberteifi changing from a dual stream school to a Welsh-medium school.

     Welsh-only education will damage economy, say business leaders

For some time (see this post about Trimsaran in 2009) I have been convinced that gradually changing the language status of existing schools is a very good way of meeting the growing demand for Welsh-medium education. It is almost always better than taking the decision to close an English-medium school that is not viable due to low pupil numbers and then reopening the same building as a new Welsh-medium school, because it minimizes the disruption both to individual children and to the community. What happens is that a school will start to teach all new pupils in Welsh, but that children already in the English stream will continue in that stream until they move on to secondary education. The school will gradually become a Welsh-medium school over a period of six or seven years.


What is now being proposed at Aberteifi is no different from what started to happen at Trimsaran in 2009, or what will start to happen at Ysgol Pencae in Penmaenmawr this coming September – a decision that was made by Leighton Andrews only three weeks ago, details of which are available from this page.

As we can read in the Statement of Information, parents at Ysgol Pencae make a decision about which language stream they want their children to enter at Year 1. Far fewer parents choose the English stream. Only 5 out of 30 went into the English stream in September 2011, and the parents of only 3 out of 26 children in the current reception year have indicated that they will choose that option for their children this coming September. At Ysgol Gynradd Aberteifi, as we can read here, only 2 children out of more than 30 are in the English stream. This is unsustainable, in particular because such low numbers are bad for children in educational terms as there simply aren't enough other children in class to interact with even when different year groups are taught together. Any school, anywhere in Wales, with such a low yearly intake would almost certainly be earmarked for closure.

If there is any difference between the two situations it is that there are schools very close to Ysgol Pencae, and any parents who want an English-medium education for their children can send them there instead without much inconvenience. But there is no other English-medium provision in the whole of south Ceredigion, the closest alternative being 31km away in Cei Newydd (English with significant use of Welsh) ... although Ysgol Y Ddwylan, a dual stream school just over the Sir Gâr border in Castell Newydd Emlyn, is some 16km away. Neither of these is particularly close, although it is worth noting that in other parts of Wales children have to make even longer journeys to get to their closest Welsh-medium school.


The big question is at what point is it justifiable to do away with all English-medium provision in a particular area, or indeed whether it can ever be justified. All parents in Wales are able choose a Welsh-medium education for their children, although it sometimes involves having to travel a long distance to get it, paid for by the local authority; so should all parents have the same right to choose an English-medium education for their children?

To answer this question the first thing to realize is that Welsh-medium primary education generally produces better results than English-medium education.

Key Stage 2 Summary Tables, 2011

English ... WM schools 86% ... All schools 84%
Mathematics ... WM schools 87% ... All schools 86%
Science ... WM schools 90% ... All schools 88%

Core Subject Indicator ... WM schools 83% ... All schools 81%


When broken down by free school meal entitlement to reflect deprivation, EM schools tend to do better in less deprived schools with up to 12% FSM entitlement, EM and WM are exactly equal in the 12-18% FSM band, and WM does better in the 18-24% and 24-30% FSM bands. But all these differences are marginal.

The big difference is in Welsh. In WM schools children are taught Welsh to first language standard, but in other schools they are generally taught only to second language standard. However in both WM and EM schools, English is always taught to first language standard. Therefore the main advantage of WM education is that children become competent in both English and Welsh, rather than just in English. It is not absolutely impossible for children to become competent in Welsh if they go to an EM school, but it is unlikely. For all practical purposes, WM education is the best way of ensuring that your child is fully bilingual in Welsh and English.


The second factor to consider is how important it is for a child to be able to speak and write Welsh competently. This is a value judgement, of course, but I would suggest that it is very much more important to ensure that a child is competent in Welsh and English in those parts of Wales where there is a higher percentage of Welsh speakers than it is in those areas of Wales where the percentage is lower, and that this difference justifies a difference of approach. Parental choice is a good thing, but it must always take second place to what is in the best interests of our children, and it is up to us as a society to determine what these are through democratically elected government. Parents do not and should not have the right to decide whether their children are taught subjects like mathematics or science, or to what standard they are taught English, because these are key subjects which are important throughout Wales. Why should it be different for Welsh in those parts of Wales where the language is important? That is why the Welsh Government will insist that local authorities measure and fulfill the parental demand for Welsh-medium education, but does not do the same for English-medium education in those parts of Wales where Welsh is more widely spoken.

I think it is self-evident that a child who grows up in Gwynedd, Ynys Môn, Ceredigion or Sir Gâr (and perhaps west Conwy and north Pembrokeshire too) will be at a severe disadvantage when it comes to both finding employment and being able to play a full part in the life of the local community unless s/he is able to speak both Welsh and English competently. That's not to say that any child who can't speak Welsh elsewhere in Wales won't be at disadvantage too—for being able to speak both languages will always be better than being able to speak just one of them—but that the disadvantage of not being able to speak Welsh will be less in those other areas. Because of this, I don't think it unreasonable to allow parents a choice about the medium of instruction in the more Anglicized parts of Wales, but for that choice to be steadily withdrawn in the more Welsh speaking parts of Wales.

South Ceredigion is one of these areas. I think it's fair to assume that any parent in the area who wanted an English-medium education for their children would be sending them to the English stream of Ysgol Gynradd Aberteifi, and therefore that the parents of only two children starting school this year in the whole of south Ceredigion, not just Aberteifi itself, have chosen to not have them educated in Welsh. It is unreasonable and impractical to expect Ceredigion to continue to maintain English-medium education for so small a number, even if it leaves parents with no choice about the medium of their children's education.

Update - 12:00 16 April 2012

I thought I'd add a short note to clarify what the different categories of school are, in particular to dispel the idea that Welsh-medium schools teach exclusively in Welsh at the expense of English.

Up until a few years ago the definition of a Welsh-speaking school was that more than half of foundation subjects were taught wholly or partly in Welsh. That was a rather loose definition, and could include (at least mathematically) schools which were teaching just over half these subjects only partly in Welsh ... i.e. doing the majority of their teaching in English.

In 2007 a more precise set of definitions was introduced. For primary schools these are:

WM ... Welsh-medium ... at least 70% of teaching in Welsh
TR ... Transitional ... 50-70% of teaching in Welsh
EW ... English with significant use of Welsh ... 20-50% of teaching in Welsh
EM ... English-medium ... less than 20% of teaching in Welsh

Additionally, a Dual Stream school has two of the above categories, usually a WM and an EM stream.

Defining schools according to Welsh-medium provision

Obviously the proportion of time spent using each language in teaching and non-teaching activities will vary from school to school. But an interesting snapshot of how much time was spent using each language in schools in Gwynedd was provided in this survey:

Between pupils and teachers
Welsh used 70% in class
Welsh used 56% in break time and playground

Between children in class
Welsh used 37%
Welsh and English used 33%

Between children in playground
Welsh ... 27%
Mostly Welsh ... 11%
Welsh and English ... 25%
Mostly English ... 15%
Almost always English ... 19%

I trust this shows that even in the strongest Welsh-speaking areas, English is very far from completely squeezed out in Welsh-medium schools.

If anything, it is probably true that Welsh is used more in Welsh-medium schools outside the Fro Gymraeg than inside it. In the more Anglicized parts of Wales the school environment will often be the only place in which a child hears and uses Welsh, and parents and teachers therefore tend to want children to be completely immersed in Welsh while at school, knowing that it will be more than balanced by the predominantly English-speaking environment outside school. But in places where Welsh is more widely spoken there tends to be a more relaxed attitude to how much English is used in school.

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Anonymous said...

Cytunaf yn llwyr gyda phopeth yr wyt yn ei ddweud. Dwi'n mwynhau darllen yn fawr dy 'sgrifennu ynglyn âg addysg Gymraeg.

I completely agree with everything that you say. I enjoy greatly your writings on the matter of Welsh Language education.


Anonymous said...

Byddai'n diddorol i glywed dy farn ar addysg Gymraeg mewn siroedd eraill sydd yn cwympo dan y ddiffiniad o'r 'Y Fro Gymraeg'.

It would be interesting to hear your opinion on Welsh Language education in other counties that fall under the definition of the 'Y Fro Gymraeg'.

Gwaith da! Good work!

Anonymous said...

Excellent piece, MH.

Would the people who complain of Welsh medium education be the same ones who complain their kids can't get a job because they don't speak Welsh?

We have a right to make sure Ceredigion continues to be Welsh speaking. The British state and the Brits sent troops to to fight to keep the Falklands English speaking. We have a right to make sure all children in Ceredigion are Welsh speaking.

And, as you point out, the children will also be fluent in English.


Anonymous said...

Good to read a thoughtful and balanced analysis of a tricky issue. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Will you be making predictions on the Council elections? as ypu did for the Assembly?

MH said...

Thanks for the comments. As for the other counties, Anon, Gwynedd (as I'm sure you'll know) does not categorize its schools by language, but all of them are in effect WM schools. Yet there is a variation in provision, especially in the more Anglicized southern part of the county, and some people have called for designated WM schools. Gwynedd latest WES shows that at the end of KS2 in 2009,

78.5% ... were competent in both English and Welsh (A)
4.28 % ... were competent in Welsh but with weaknesses in English (B)
7.94% ... were competent in English but with weaknesses in Welsh (C1)
1.6% ... were competent in English but not Welsh (C2)
7.6% ... were not competent in Welsh or English (CH)

The last category is important, because there will always be a percentage of children with literacy problems, and not including them would distort the figures.

I think this shows that Gwynedd's policy is remarkably successful. The percentage in Cohort A was only 67.7% in 2005. Now, less than 10% of children in primary schools are not competent (for their age) Welsh speakers; and less than 2% can be described as non Welsh speakers. But even with all schools being effectively WM slightly more children are competent in English than in Welsh. It certainly shows that English does not suffer as a result of WM education. This is the situation I would like to see in the whole of the Fro Gymraeg.

I think almost everything on Ynys Môn is harder to understand (for me, anyway ... I've always put it down to increased doses of radiation ;-) but in language terms the situation is quite close to that in Gwynedd, and moving in that direction.

The situation in Sir Gâr exasperates me, as I've said in other posts. Their policies defy logic and my dearest wish for next month is that the administration will get thrown out in May (though having said that, what's happening now in Ceredigion is happening under a LibDem administration). Yet even so, things are slowly improving in Sir Gâr with something like a 5% increase in those assessed in Welsh FL over the last few years. The most Anglicized area is in the south east corner around Llanelli, and there the demand for designated WM education just keeps on growing.

In Ceredigion the similar pocket of Anglicization is around Aberystwyth, which has five EW schools. I don't know whether the situation there is best served by converting any of these to WM schools, or whether they will naturallly progress from being in the 20-50% range to become transitional and then full WM schools.


All in all, I'm not saying that all education in the Fro Gymraeg should immediately become WM. I think it should happen gradually, on a case-by-case basis to suit local circumstances. My main point in this post is that closing the last EM provision in an area is a significant step, but that we should not be afraid to take it if the number of parents choosing it for their children has fallen to only a small handful.


Yes, I guess I'll say something, Anon 12:56. I just have to figure out what!

Anonymous said...

Anon 12:56 again

MH can you make a comment on each council, welll the important ones for Plaid anyway Gwynedd, Caerfyrddin, Ceredigion, Conwy, Caerdiff, Caerfilli, Wrexham, Torfaen, Penfro,

Anonymous said...

Diolch am yr ychwanegiadau! Thank you for the additions!
Byddai'n diddorol clywed hefyd am y sefyllfa yn y De Ddwyrain, gan fy mod yn dod o Sir Gaerffili fy hunan.

It would be interesting to hear about the situation in Caerffili county too, since that is where I am from myself.

Diolch yn fawr 'to! Keep up the good work!

Ambiorix said...

I'd be interested in the situation in Caerffili as well because I'm also from there?

Anonymous said...

Post gwych. Diolch yn fawr iawn.

Anonymous said...

He thinks Welsh-medium education is a form of ethnic cleansing:

Anonymous said...

I still fail to understand the obsession with forcing children to do all their studies in Welsh? As far as I can see it can only damage their future prospects for getting good jobs anywhere in the entire world apart from Wales.
I think our children are being used as a vehicle to promote independance.
I'm afraid that this inward looking approach can only do Wales harm.

MH said...

What you "fail to understand" would be perfectly clear to anyone who took more care to read what I wrote, and the limits of "as far as I can see" would be considerably extended if you looked at the evidence I linked to, Anon 23:58.

Across Wales, children in WM primary schools do better than children who go to other types of school. This includes English, as well as science and maths. So on the basis of that evidence, WM education will enhance their future prospects.

And even in Gwynedd, where all education is effectively WM and there is no choice about the medium of instruction, children do better in English than they do in Welsh.

So yes, if good English is a factor in getting jobs anywhere in the world, children who have had a WM education will be better equipped to get them ... but with good English and good Welsh they will also be better equipped to get jobs in the area where they live or in any other part of Wales. A win-win situation.

Anonymous said...

Chinese students some of them have excellent Englisi and French students at universities who were taught in French and English they do not seem to have a problem, this fuss is about nothing

Anonymous said...

To anonymous 23:58

I would recommend the following New York Times article 'Why bilinguals are smarter':

Anonymous said...

MH - didn't quite understand your paragraph on Free School Meals;

'When broken down by free school meal entitlement to reflect deprivation, EM schools tend to do better in less deprived schools with up to 12% FSM entitlement, EM and WM are exactly equal in the 12-18% FSM band, and WM does better in the 18-24% and 24-30% FSM bands. But all these differences are marginal.'

especially the; 'EM schools tend to do better in less deprived schools with up to 12% FSM entitlement' bit.

As this 'WM schools do well 'cos the kids are all middle class' this is quite an important point.


MH said...

You asked about Caerffili, Ambiorix. The big project there is to develop the old St Ilan site into an 11-14 age range school, which should be open in September 2013. Details and a nice video on this page. It's very badly needed as there's no more room at Cwm Rhymni.

It's harder to figure out where the next WM primary will be. When the Bedwas Colliery site is developed, a new school will be built as part of a Section 106 agreement, and will probably be WM. I have put the case for a new WM primary in Risca, here, and still get quite a few visits to that page. Risca was included as a priority here. Other possibilities might be to merge two EM schools which are close together into the larger building and make the smaller one into a new WM school ... for example Ynysddy and Cwmfelinfach. Failing anything like that, it will be a case of putting up even more temporary classrooms (or even buses) in the playgrounds of existing schools.

If anyone knows anything, please either leave a comment or contact me at this address.

MH said...

About free school meals, M. If you follow the link to the spreadsheet (here, second page called "Summary") it should make more sense. It is rather annoying that EM schools should be broken down into 4% bands, because it makes comparison with the 6% bands difficult; but we can make a direct comparison between WM schools and all schools.

As for the claim that WM schools only do well because they're full of middle class kids, my advice is that you should only accept the figures people quote if they can provide a link to the source.

It's very nice that WM primaries are a couple of percentage points ahead overall, because it dispels any notion that children are disadvantaged by going to WM schools. But it is only a marginal difference. The big difference is with WM education is that it is the best way for a child to speak Welsh and English.

There is a lot of misunderstanding, and this is the only way I can make any sense of the fact that over 1,000 people signed a petition against closing the English stream, but the parents of only two children actually choose the English stream last September. If you want a measure of how widespread the misunderstanding is, read some of the comments on this thread about the decision to make Ysgol Pencae in Penmaenmawr a WM school.

However, when it is your own child's future that is at stake, and when you talk about the options with the teachers involved, those misunderstandings are lifted and only a handful choose the English stream. I think the main misunderstandings are these:

1. That children do not use any English in WM schools, and that therefore their English will suffer.
2. That the standard of Welsh their child will reach in a non-WM school is the same as the standard of Welsh they will reach in a WM school.

I think the second is the bigger problem. Parents tend to think that because a child will have some Welsh lessons in a non-WM school, they will end up being able to speak Welsh as well as those who go to a WM school. WM and non-WM are thought of as equal options that will produce the same end result. The difference between Welsh to first language standard (i.e. to the same standard as they are expected to learn English) and Welsh to second language standard (i.e. the equivalent of learning French or Spanish to GCSE standard) is not immediately obvious to them.

Owen said...

I don't want to detract from the discussion, but this might be of interest.

There've been premilinary discussions about a new WM primary in Bridgend. Currently the town is served by YG Bro Ogwr, but it appears to be oversubscribed.

RhAG mention the new school at Parc Derwen, but as I understand it, it might be a replacement for the existing EM Coity Primary.

It's been mooted that Ysgol Bryn Castell special school is to move to Ogmore Comprehensive once a new amaglamated Ynysawdre-Ogmore EM secondary school has been built at the Ynysawdre site.

My guess would be a new WM primary at the Bryn Castell site - serving the western half of Bridgend town, in particular the Broadlands estate which has an oversubscribed EM primary - or a new WM school somewhere in the Sarn/Ynysawdre area, where there's a noticeable "gap" in WM provision. Heol y Cyw Primary is due to close in the next few years, so a new WM primary could be set up there to serve Pencoed, as well as the Sarn/Ynysawdre area.

Rhys McKenzie said...

Excellent post, MH, but I wonder whether you could qualify your statement that "it is probably true that Welsh is used more in Welsh-medium schools outside the Fro Gymraeg than inside it"?

I certainly hope you're right, but in my experience (seven years in a WM secondary school in Wrecsam), Welsh was almost entirely absent from the playground. Even conversations between peers in class tended to be in English; a situation I found regrettable then and still do now. As I say though, I hope you're right and can rebuff this anecdotal evidence.

Anonymous said...
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Unknown said...

Most incisive and timely post, MH. You will see that not only has the Western Mail article attracted nearly 500 comments,the anti-WM posters are being a given a sound thrashing by posters who not only have logic (and thanks to you, facts) on their side, but also benefit from a far richer command of the English language than those that advocate Anglo-monoglotism.

Unknown said...

. . . Western Mail piece is HERE

MH said...

Sorry it's taken me a while to respond to the latest comments. Part of the reason is that I know very little about the situation in Bridgend and thought I should do some investigation before responding to you, Owen.

Yes, a new school is included in the plans for Parc Derwen (for others, it's north west of Coity, and south of Parc prison see here). The existing Coety school has an admission number of 19, equating to a capacity of 133 statutory age pupils (7x19). It's practically full with 127 and therefore the new development will almost certainly increase the EM demand past the point where the existing school is adequate.

So I would guess the new Parc Derwen school has to be EM and will be a replacement for Coety. However that does leave open the possiblity of using the existing Coety building as a small WM school. On Google Streetview it looks to be in fairly good condition, but lacks green outdoor space. Bridgend would say that makes it unsuitable as a modern school but there's a field behind it they could buy part of. If I were RhAG I would pursue that option, but I have to say that it doesn't look ideal in terms of location.

The idea of using the current Bryn Castell site for WM if it moves to the Ogmore site sounds very good. There appear to be two separate schools on the site: a large one to the north west, and a smaller one in the south east by the turning circle. Do you know what the small one is, and is there any chance that it could be used as a WM school while the larger building is still used by Bryn Castell?

I hadn't realized just how fast the population of Bridgend was increasing because of the new developments. In such a situation it is very hard to expand WM education because of the need to provide more EM education. Nearly everywhere else the pattern has been of falling rolls and more surplus spaces, which has provided the leeway to close EM schools and open WM schools in what would otherwise be empty buildings. That general demographic pattern is now changing as numbers of children are on the increase again ... and this will make it harder to establish new WM schools in future. The battles are set to get a lot harder.


Rhys, I was basing that statement on the Gwynedd Hunaniaith survey which said that 70% of communciation between teachers and children was in Welsh in class, and 56% in breaktime and the playground. That implied 30% and 43% of communication was in English, and that seemed to me to be a high percentage of English comapered with designated WM schools outside the Fro, where teachers almost always make a point of communicating in Welsh even though the children are likely to speak English between themselves.

I was making the point about teacher/child interaction rather than child/child interaction, and I should have made that clearer. It's probably fair to say that child/child interaction is much more likely to be in English outside the Fro than in it. In fact, as a generalization, whenever the teacher is too far away to hear.


I've removed Anon 10:10's comment because s/he posted it on at least two other blogs and it isn't particularly relevant to this subject.


Yes, Siônnyn. I read the Western Mail story and all the same old comments by the same old multiposters. It's wonderfully reassuring to see that nothing has changed.

I suppose this is as good a time as any to thank our (or at least my) favourite poster for Gogwatch and Glasnost. He's doing more to encourage people to take up Welsh-medium education than he will ever realize.

Anonymous said...

Glasnost makes The Times

My week: glasnostuk

Hugo Rifkind, The Times

(with apologies to Mikhail Gorbachev)

In the cellar vault this morning doing very important work. Cataloguing Welsh Language Board policy documents since 1993.
Vladimir calls. ‘I can offer worldwide rights to Glasnost brand in all media for 2 billion roubles,’ he says.
‘We don’t have 2 billion roubles,’ we say, ‘we only have 50 kopecks.’
‘That’s a done deal then,’ he says.
‘Get off the line,’ we say, ‘we have important work.’

Reading this morning. Their education analyst has written 100,000 word post on inability of Welsh medium kids to spell. It’s crazy, how can they develop economy when kids use f for v and ff for f. It’s disgraceful, kids are laboratory rats.
We congratulate him for learned analysis and excellent post.
Alexander Lebedev calls. ‘What is link between anonymous Glasnost site and Welsh language?’ he asks.
“It is about openness and democracy,’ we say.
He laughs. 'We send Evening Standard theatre critic to interview you,' he adds.
‘Get off the line,’ we say, ‘we have important work.’

Examining 2001 census data. The Welsh don’t even know they are Welsh. Crazy nationalists make excuses. No tick box on form! Who they trying to kid?
Mikhail calls. He’s angry. ‘You are destroying the brand,’ he says.
‘No, we enhance brand,’ we say.
‘You shame Russia,’ he says.
‘Get off the line,’ we say, ‘we have important work.

Back in the vault working on dossiers of Welsh elite. They are all Welsh language-speaking supremacists. There we have it:
Carwyn Jones, fluent Welsh speaker; Andrew RT Davies, not a Welsh speaker, surely some mistake; Kirsty Williams, not a fluent speaker; Leanne Wood, a learner; the Assembly Llywydd, Rosemary Butler, not a speaker. These dossiers have been tampered with. They must be corrected.
Russian ambassador to the UK calls. ‘What are you doing?’ he asks.
‘We introduce distinguished Russian values to authoritarian Welsh state,’ we say.
‘Are you even a Russian?’ he asks pointedly.
‘Get off the line,’ we say, ‘we have important work.’

Roman calls. ‘We have tickets for Barcelona match,’ he says.
‘Barcelona and Catalonia,’ we say, ‘is the basket case of Europe.’
‘They are the best team in the world,’ he pleads.
‘But they force Catalan language down throats of children,’ we say.
‘Don’t you want to see Xavi, Puyol, Andres and Cesc?' he asks.
‘They are laboratory rats,’ we say.
‘But they are multilingual, multimillionaire sporting superstars,’ he shouts.
‘Get off the line,’ we say, ‘we have important work......’

Owen said...

The Glasnost thing above - brilliant.

MH - Thanks for looking into things in more detail.

I think the problem with Coety Primary is that it's already pretty close to YG Bro Ogwr, which is about a mile to the south west. The land directly behind Coety Primary is supposed to form part of a "green buffer" between the village and Parc Derwen, so I'm not sure if it could be intergrated into the school.

The larger school at the Bryn Castell site is the special school which, as I said, Bridgend Council are considering moving to the Ogmore Comprehensive site in Bryncethin, once the new Coleg Cymunedol y Dderwen has been finished (~2013). The smaller school is St Mary's Catholic Primary.

There are several gaps in WM provision in Bridgend County. As far as I can see are : The western half of Bridgend town, Pencoed, Ogwr Valley, Porthcawl (currently served by YG Ferch O'r Sger I think) and the Sarn "conurbation" directly north of the M4.

Based on anecdotal population growth, west Bridgend and the Sarn area are the most likely candidates for a new WM primary. Obviously if a new WM primary were opened somewhere in west Bridgend - like the Bryn Castell site - then pupils currently attending YG Bro Ogwr from that side of town would have a closer alternative, which should free up spaces at Bro Ogwr for demand from the Parc Derwen development. However, I'm not sure if there's a breakdown of where current Bro Ogwr pupils live.

There are several small schools in the Sarn area that could be converted. As I said, Heol y Cyw is due to merge with Pencoed Primary (but that's probably too small). Should Bryn Castell stay put, a new WM school could be based at Ogmore Comprehensive. In addition to Coety, that's three "empty" school buildings.

Anonymous said...
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MH said...

Will you ever learn, Anon?

You're free to express any opinion, but if you want to quote statistics to support the point you are making, you need to provide links to them so that readers can see if what you are saying is true.

You're very welcome to re-post your comment when you've included those links. Or, as I've told you before, you can email me the relevant documents and I will put them on the server I use.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
MH said...

I'll be generous, Anon. You did provide one link, and that is so unusual that I feel inclined to help you out. The problem is that you went on to talk about numbers which you provided no link for, and then to talk about the situation in Cardiff which you provided no link for. I deleted your comment for that reason. You are welcome to make those points again if you can provide the relevant links.

But this is the first part of what you said:

Chicken, Michael, you know very well that my figures are correct....what you don't like is that they show YOU to be misleading your acolytes. See no statistics: post that!

Key stage 4 Benchmarking information.

Get it? 88% of pupils in WM schools under 15% FSMs
41% of pupils in EM schools under 15%.

The first thing to note is that you are talking about Key Stage 4. This post is about primary education, which is why the figures I quoted and linked to are for the KS2 information. The point I made is perfectly clear and anyone can verify it by clicking the link to the source. I'll repeat what I said on benchmarking by FSM entitlement at KS2:

"When broken down by free school meal entitlement to reflect deprivation, EM schools tend to do better in less deprived schools with up to 12% FSM entitlement, EM and WM are exactly equal in the 12-18% FSM band, and WM does better in the 18-24% and 24-30% FSM bands. But all these differences are marginal."

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
MH said...

Your last comment has been deleted for many more reasons than just relying on evidence without providing a link to it, Anon.

I would welcome the opportunity to discuss the points you raised, but you need to raise them in a way that makes discussion possible. To do that you need to provide evidence for the assertions and accusations you throw around like confetti. So far, the only link you have provided is to KS4 information, and you have highlighted a couple of figures from it. But what are these figures meant to prove? What point are you trying to make?

You need to repost the comments that were deleted for the benefit of everyone else who is reading this; either including links that you didn't provide before, or not making points which rely on evidence that you can't or won't provide links for. If you're only interested in talking to me, then why don't you email me?


I'm quite happy to extend the discussion beyond WM primary education. But from the spreadsheet on the page you linked to it is clear that the situation at KS4 is remarkably similar to that at KS2.

In overall terms Welsh speaking schools do better than English speaking schools at KS4. But when broken down into FSM bands to reflect deprivation, English speaking schools in the <10% band tend to do better than Welsh speaking schools in the same band, but Welsh speaking schools tend to do better in the 10-15% and 15-20% FSM bands.

Anonymous said...

This is an intriguing duel. MH clearly has home advantage but he is now way ahead on points. You need to come back soon, anon, or throw in the towel.

NB I do not know MH so therefore do not qualify as an 'acolyte'.

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