Most people against making all schools Welsh-language by 2050, but support Welsh-medium education

The Welsh Government is investing £44 million into the Welsh language for 2022/23 Credit: PA

Most people would oppose making it compulsory for all schools in Wales to be Welsh-medium.

That's according to the latest YouGov/ITV opinion poll. 

56% of those who responded said they disagreed with the idea. 

It comes after Cymdeithas yr Iaith Gymraeg (Welsh Language Society) called for the Welsh Government to take more radical measures in the wake of the Census 2021 figures published in December.

Would you support or oppose making it compulsory for all schools in Wales to be Welsh medium (all lessons taught in Welsh) by 2050?

  • Strongly support - 15%

  • Somewhat support - 20% 

  • Somewhat oppose - 21%

  • Strongly oppose - 36%

  • Don't know - 9%

The Census showed that there was a decline in the number of Welsh speakers in the past decade – by approximately 23,700 people.

One of Cymdeithas yr Iaith’s demands was to create a Welsh education bill that would set all schools on a path to become Welsh-medium by 2050. 

Despite most poll respondents opposing this idea, 58% were supportive of Wales having more Welsh-medium schools in general.

Would you support or oppose an increase in the number of Welsh medium schools in Wales (all lessons taught in Welsh) in general?

  • Strongly support - 26%

  • Somewhat support - 32%

  • Somewhat oppose - 15%

  • Strongly oppose - 15%

  • Don’t know- 13%

Meanwhile, 30% of the public don’t think the Welsh Government is doing enough to promote the Welsh language, while 20% believe that it is doing too much, the opinion poll also revealed.

In an interview for the current affairs programme Y Byd ar Bedwar, the Minister for Education and Welsh Language, Jeremy Miles MS, said that he was disappointed with the Census 2021 results but accepts that there is work to do. 

Campaigners are calling for all schools in Wales to be Welsh medium by the year 2050. Credit: Y Byd ar Bedwar

“We live in a community, in a society, where there’s a culture that dominates, which is the English language culture that’s across the border and over the sea. Minority languages are battling to keep their land.

"So, we have work to do socially, this is not just the government’s work, to make sure that they have more confidence to ensure they’re using the language.”(Data from YouGov opinion poll: 1,081 respondents from Wales (16 and over) for ITV Wales and Cardiff University between 3 and 7 February, 2023)