Language and cultural support

Merthyr Tydfil has benefited over the last few years from a large number of migrant workers moving into the area. These have helped provide Merthyr Tydfil with a rich mix of cultures, languages and new experiences. The children of migrant workers have fitted well into our schools, and both indigenous and migrant young people benefit from the sharing of cultural experiences and multicultural learning. Currently, there are 372 children whose first language is not English. These children are spread over 26 of our schools, and between them they bring with them a rich mix of 29 different languages. Merthyr Tydfil currently employs 8 bilingual Learning Support Assistants and 4 European Language Volunteers whose role is to support these pupils by providing individual and in-classroom support to help these children to develop their English language skills.

Merthyr Tydfil is fortunate to be within the Convergence Funding area of Wales, which means that alongside an annual grant from the Welsh Assembly Government, we are able to draw down additional European funding through the Minority Ethnic Learning and Achievement Project (MELAP). This is allowing us to provide additional support for children with English as an additional language (EAL) needs within our secondary schools.

The EAL team within Merthyr Tydfil provide a range of support to pupils with EAL needs, including:

  • In class support to pupils 
  • Integration of new arrivals to schools
  • Home school links, including interpreting for parents, schools and other agencies as appropriate
  • Translation for parents’ information and general school information
  • Mentoring support
  • Support for all transition points
  • Training / awareness of staff re: supporting EAL needs in the classroom
  • Links with external provider and youth service provision in order to widen access and extend the curriculum for learners with EAL needs
  • Preparation for GCSEs, AS and A levels in the pupil’s first language

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