Teachers in Wales will be given time off to improve their knowledge of the Welsh language under a new government initiative launched this week.
Education minister Leighton Andrews has approved the spending of £6 million over the next three years on the Welsh Language Sabbatical Scheme.
"Through the Welsh-Medium Education Strategy we have committed to building a workforce with a sufficient number of high-quality practitioners with Welsh-language skills for all phases of education and training," he commented.
Courses are available for teachers with a wide range of abilities and teachers will be able to request that their employers release them while they learn.
The scheme was initially launched as a pilot in 2005.
According to the government, the initiative will help to increase the supply of practitioners able to teach and train through the medium of Welsh in statutory and post-16 education. It is set to benefit more than 600 teachers.
Posted by Katy Kearns