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The Sabbatical Scheme

The Sabbaticals Scheme

The Welsh Government has developed specific training programmes for practitioners who wish to teach through the medium of Welsh or wish to improve their Welsh-language skills. Read on for more information.

What is the aim of this scheme?

The Sabbaticals Scheme offers Welsh-language and methodology training to practitioners who need the confidence and specialist terminology to teach, lecture or train through the medium of Welsh or bilingually or who are required to teach Welsh second language as part of the national curriculum.
The Scheme gives teachers, lecturers and trainers the opportunity to:
• improve their Welsh-language skills
• acquire knowledge of terminology specific to their subject area; and
• gain awareness and confidence in using Welsh-medium and bilingual methodologies.

Who can apply?

The Scheme is open to primary and secondary school teachers, further education lecturers and Work Based Learning training providers who currently work either full-time or part-time in Wales. Supply staff and HE lecturers may also be considered subject to certain conditions.
The Scheme currently offers courses at the three levels outlined below.
1) Higher Level
Higher level courses are aimed at those who can speak Welsh fluently, either as first-language speakers or advanced learners, but who lack the confidence or specialist terminology in Welsh to use these skills in a professional context. The courses offer applicants the opportunity to:
• develop their personal language skills
• receive intensive language training combined with methodological training in Welsh-medium teaching; and
• specialist knowledge of terminology specific to their subject area or specialisation.
The courses are available through the following three models:

Block courses

A twelve-week full-time block course is offered at Cardiff University, Bangor University and University of Wales Trinity Saint David, Carmarthen.
Employers will need to release applicants from their posts for the whole of the three-month period (60 days). This is an intensive immersion course held through the medium of Welsh. Course providers tailor the training to the needs of individuals. The course concentrates on improving participants' personal language skills and also incorporates the methodological aspect of bilingual teaching. It also provides participants with the opportunity to develop relevant teaching resources. Up to 60 days supply costs are available for this course. The course is accredited and carries 60 HE credits.

Distance Learning

As the name suggests, the majority of the learning on this course is done from afar, with participants receiving and returning weekly assignments electronically via Bangor University's “Blackboard” system. Due to the lack of daily contact this course is more suitable for those who are confident with their spoken Welsh but who wish to improve their written professional Welsh.
This course is also 12 weeks in duration with 3 mandatory residential periods, when participants will attend Bangor University for their induction training, methodology training and assessments as follows: 5 days in week 1, 3 days in week 5/6 and 4 days in week 11. The Welsh Government will arrange and pay for hotel accommodation during these periods.
The Welsh Government will reimburse up to 30 days supply cover for this course - 12 residential days, plus 2 days per week for the remaining 9 weeks so that participants can be released from their posts to complete their weekly assignments. The course carries 40 HE credits.
Short courses for FE lecturers and subject teachers in Welsh-medium or bilingual secondary schools
These courses will be provided by Bangor University (at a location in north-east Wales) and Cardiff University. Participants will attend a series of language workshops over a 12 week period.
Up to 18 days supply cover is available for these courses. Spare places will be offered to practitioners from other sectors. These courses carry 30 HE credits.

2) Foundation Level

This course offers Welsh language training to teachers in the Foundation Phase and Key Stage 2 who wish to:

  • develop their Welsh-language skills to Foundation level
  • take the first step of a recognised path to learning Welsh with the long-term aim of teaching Welsh or through the medium of Welsh; and
  • contribute to bilingualism in their schools and creation of a Welsh-language ethos.

The course is aimed at those with a basic knowledge of Welsh and the motivation to commit to eleven weeks of intensive training. The Welsh Government will reimburse up to 55 days supply costs for this course.

3) Entry Level

This five-week course is for Classroom Assistants who work in English-medium or bilingual primary schools. The course will provide classroom assistants with the vocabulary and linguistic skills necessary to support their teaching colleagues. The Welsh Government will reimburse up to 25 days supply costs for this course.
The Entry and Foundation level courses will be available in location across Wales including: Llysfasi College, Aberystwyth University, Coleg Powys, University of Wales Trinity Saint David, Swansea University, Cardiff University, University of Glamorgan, Coleg Gwent.

Points to remember:

  • All courses under the Sabbaticals Scheme are FREE
  • The Welsh Government will reimburse supply costs; and
  • The Welsh Government will reimburse participants' travel costs.

For more information contact the Sabbaticals Team:
Tel: 01443 663770
E-mail: sabbaticalscheme@wales.gsi.gov.uk

Document Download

Sabbaticals Scheme Timetable [.doc 50KB]
Further information is provided on this website about the Entry and Foundation Level courses as well as the Higher Level course that focuses on improving the language of Welsh speakers.

The information was compiled by kind permission of the North Wales Welsh for Adults Centre and Canolfan Bedwyr, Bangor University.

Courses are also provided by other centres (see the link to the above Word document.

Sabbatical Scheme for Welsh Language Training - Entry Level

Sabbatical Scheme for Welsh-language training - Foundation

Entry Level and Foundation Courses for Teachers and Classroom Assistants in 2012/13

The Sabbatical Scheme - Higher Level Courses

Block Courses

Distance Learning Courses

Short Courses

The Sabbatical Scheme Website (bilingual)

More information is available by contacting:

The Sabbaticals Team
Welsh in Education Unit
Department for Education and Skills
Welsh Government
TÅ·'r Afon
Bedwas Road
CF83 8WT

Telephone: 01443 663698
E-mail: sabbaticalsscheme@wales.gsi.gov.uk