Are there any figures as to the proportion of Bangor's population who are Welsh speaking. There are two secondary schools in Bangor; Tryfan, the Welsh medium school and Friars the English medium school. As Friars has far more pupils than Tryfan this gives the impression that Bangor is more English speaking than Welsh speaking.
I'd try the Office For National
Statistics or the Welsh Assembly for the figures themselves.
I'd imagine the picture is more complex than the schools indicate.
I suspect many of the Friars children speak Welsh too, and
certainly will have Welsh as part of the curriculum. There can be
other reasons why schools are chosen by parents too (e.g.
perceived quality of teaching, rankings etc. ...which may be
stronger than a simple language choice)
Bangor is significantly multicultural due to the University
(lecturers and students) and the Hospital (doctors...) and
National/International businesses and clustering of
'Internationals' which together probably reduce the proportion of
Welsh speakers in comparison with say Caernarfon which is less
As I say it's a fairly complex picture.
On 16/01/2013 21:20, Ian [via Bangor Civic Society | Message Board
& Forum] wrote:
Are there any figures as to the proportion of
Bangor's population who are Welsh speaking. There are two
secondary schools in Bangor; Tryfan, the Welsh medium school and
Friars the English medium school. As Friars has far more pupils
than Tryfan this gives the impression that Bangor is more English
speaking than Welsh speaking.
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Ian and Matt, Now this question is very timely. Reading the news it appears that Friars is now under the microscope for being the last English medium school in Gwynedd - which fact I must say I was oblivious to. Apparently it has to change its ethos. In response the headteacher has said, and you have made this point Matt, that he has many pupils who do not have English as their first language (ESOL). He makes other points also to explain the situation, not least that to re-invent the school would involve a wholesale change of teaching staff as currently they are mostly non-Welsh speaking (as a first language, that is.)
This is a thorny subject, isn't it? Welsh is my first language, and I thoroughly applaud the growth in Welsh medium schools. I didn't realise, however, that in Gwynedd this should be to the exclusion of English medium secondary education. I think this is the wrong way to go in places like Bangor, and I'm sure the arguments for this are familiar to all. So long as we have Tryfan, we should expand it, but keep Friars as an option for everybody else.
I went to the Bangor School for Girls (Tryfan) in the sixties and there were 367 pupils when I left. There are now 350 pupils, according to newspaper reports. I think it, and the Welsh medium protagonists, would benefit from its being developed. When I was there there was lots of capacity land-wise. Now I've made myself very unpopular!