We the undersigned call on the National Assembly for Wales to urge the Welsh Government to instigate a truly independent review of Professor Sioned Davies’ recommendations in her 2014 Report on the role of the Welsh language in schools to assess the risks they have for children's future education, because there is evidence that vital researched evidence was ignored in her research and report.
Language is the fundamental medium of all learning. New languages cannot be instantly learnt. Research illustrates that there will be around a five-year learning deficit before native English-speaking children will be able to learn at the efficiency of Welsh native speaking children in Welsh medium school. This applies to an average child. Working memory is the gateway to all learning. Language fluency opens it wider. There is a seven-year difference in children’s working memory capacity at the age of seven. Unless children can develop sufficient Welsh language fluency, then they will not be able to reach their full learning potential, which it is children’s legal human right to achieve in Wales. There is no convincing evidence that the full cross-curricula implications of Professor Davies’ proposals were considered in her research, such as the effects of her recommendations of developing children’s English language literacy and their mathematical skills. She was not qualified to consider these issues.