PARENTS “don’t need to able to speak Welsh” to send their children to Welsh medium education, the council has said, as concerns were raised during a consultation over plans to turn foundation phase education in four Aberystwyth primary schools to fully Welsh language.

In May, councillors agreed to begin the consultation process to change the medium of language to Welsh in the Foundation Phase in Comins Coch, Llwyn yr Eos, Padarn Sant, and Plascrug schools.

It is also proposed Comins Coch School and St Padarn’s are able to admit three-year -old pupils on a part time basis.

Consultation documents concede that the plans would incur costs, with teaching staff needing to be trained.

The consultation ran in September and October and the results are being presented to Cabinet members on Tuesday.

11 responses were received on the consultation at St Padarns school, with eight supportive of the proposals, and three against.

Objectors raised concerns over the effect the move would have on the childcare provision at the school, saying the playgroup would “no longer be financially viable.”

One objector warned the “standard of education would drop as the majority of our parents would not be able to support their children in the acquisition of basic literacy and numeracy skills through the medium of Welsh.”

The report said that parents “should not be concerned if they cannot speak Welsh with their children”, adding “they do not need to be able to speak Welsh in order to send their children to Welsh-medium education.”

A total of 27 responses were given to the Plascrug consultation, of which just nine were supportive.

Concerns at the school were raised over losing quality teachers who could not teach day to day in Welsh, and concerns over the effect the change would have on the many nationalities who come to Aberystwyth being left without an English-medium education option.

One objector said that all four Aberystwyth schools are “already incorporating a good level of Welsh into their day to day routines.”

14 responses were received for the Comins Coch consultation, with six supportive and the others raising concerns of the “low number of pupils from Welsh speaking families” in the area.

One said that Welsh should be taught “but not at the expense of removing English.”

All six of the responses to the Llwyn yr Eos consultation supported the move.