While reading through Estyn's report on Welsh in the Foundation Phase published last week, I noticed in paragraph 23 that 22.9% of pupils in Wales were assessed in language, literacy and communication skills (Welsh) at the end of the Foundation Phase (Key Stage 1) in 2012.
This figure is different from the one quoted in the latest annual report on progress towards meeting the targets in the Welsh Government's Welsh-medium Education Strategy, which states that the percentage of Year 2 learners assessed in Welsh first language in 2012 was 21.9% (7,229 out of a cohort of 32,960).
I asked Estyn which figure was right, and the bad news is that their 22.9% was a typographic error. They will correct the online versions, though that is obviously going to take a little time. But the good news is that the figure for 2013 is 22.4%.
As I mentioned in this post a couple of weeks ago, progress towards meeting the targets in the WMES has been painfully slow. The figures for Outcome 1, the percentage of seven-year-old learners being taught through the medium of Welsh, had only increased by 0.1% over three years. So I can now, at least unofficially, update the table.
More seven-year-old learners being taught through the medium of Welsh
Baseline (2009) ... 21%
Target for 2015 ... 25%
Target for 2020 ... 30%
2009 ... 21.0%
2010 ... 21.8%
2011 ... 21.9%
2012 ... 21.9%
2013 ... 22.4%
Progress to date ... 1.4% ... still 2.6% short of 2015 target
It's not a huge increase, but it's certainly better than being at a standstill.
However this increase, welcome as it is, doesn't detract from the point I made in that previous post. The Welsh Government has admitted the targets won't be met, but they plan on doing absolutely nothing about it until after the 2015 figures have been released. This is shameful and unacceptable. The whole point of annual progress reports is to ring alarm bells so that remedial action can be taken before it is too late. But instead of doing that, Huw Lewis and Carwyn Jones have put their fingers in their ears.