CARMARTHENSHIRE County Council’s Executive Board has backed plans to change the language of education at five primary schools – including Ysgol y Ddwylan at Newcastle Emlyn.

Under the proposals, children starting in the foundation phase classes in September 2020 will be taught in Welsh until they reach age seven, when parents can then decide what language they want their children to continue learning in.

There will be no change for current pupils attending the schools.

The council has already consulted on the proposals but has now issued a statutory notice to formally propose the intention to change the language provision.

Parents and interested parties have until October 22 to make representations.

Cllr Glynog Davies, the council’s executive board member for education and children’s services, said: “Our intention is to move these schools along the language continuum. This coincides with our Welsh in Education Strategic Plan, which we’ve accepted as an authority, and which has been approved by the Welsh Government.

“Our aim as a county is to see each pupil at the end of key stage two completely bilingual and confident in using the English and Welsh language.

“We hope to change the language of the foundation phase of these schools from dual stream to Welsh only. Parents will then have choice at the beginning of key stage two about the language of education of their children.

“There was a disappointing lack of response to the consultation. Thank you to those that did respond. If people are happy, very often, people don’t respond. The responses of the children are stated here, across the four schools this is very positive and children can see the value of being bilingual.”