Part 4 - Welsh in Education Strategic Plans
91.Part 4 establishes a statutory requirement for local authorities to have Welsh in Education Strategic Plans (WESPs) in place. This replaces a voluntary scheme.
Section 84 – Preparation of Welsh in education strategic plans
92.This section sets out what a WESP should contain. This section places a duty on all local authorities to prepare a plan, keep it under review and revise it if necessary. This section also sets out with whom a local authority is required to consult in preparing or revising its WESP. If a local authority has carried out an assessment of demand for Welsh medium education pursuant to section 86 this section requires it to take the results of that into account in preparing or revising its plan.
Section 85 - Approval, publication and implementation of Welsh in education strategic plans
93.Each local authority will be required to submit its WESP to Welsh Ministers for approval. The Welsh Ministers may approve, modify or reject a WESP (imposing their own plan in its place). Subsection (7) places a duty on a local authority to take all reasonable steps to implement its approved WESP. The Welsh Ministers must consult with a local authority before they modify or replace a local authority’s plan.
Section 86 - Assessing demand for Welsh medium education
94.This section provides a power for the Welsh Ministers to make regulations which require local authorities to assess parental demand for Welsh-medium provision in certain circumstances. Such regulations may make provision about when and how a local authority should undertake an assessment of demand.
Section 87 - Regulations and guidance
95.This section gives Welsh Ministers powers to make regulations which will make further provisions on matters such as the form and content of a WESP, its timing and duration, keeping the WESP under review, consultation and submission of the WESP for approval to the Welsh Ministers and its publication. Regulations may also make provision enabling a joint plan by two or more local authorities.
96.This section also provides a power for the Welsh Ministers to issue guidance which local authorities must have regard to when exercising their functions under Part 4 of this Act.