North East Wales

Denbighshire Welsh language row head apologises

Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionToby Belfield said his comments were taken out of context

A head teacher has apologised after saying young people should not be "forced" to learn Welsh as it makes them academically weaker than their English peers.

Toby Belfield of the independent Ruthin School, Denbighshire, also said children should be taught with English as their first language.

His remarks have led a sailing club to cancel an arrangement with the school.

However, he said his comments were taken out of context.

Mr Belfield made his comments in a letter written to the Denbighshire Free Press.

"I clearly apologise for any offence caused to anybody by reading the letter, and taken out of context and taken just on its own, I can understand how that's caused offence," he told BBC Wales.

"However, taken in line with the letter in the previous week and taken together I stand by what I say, which is mandating that all teachers have to teach through the medium of Welsh is not a good thing for Welsh young people."

In 2014, the school had no first language Welsh speaking pupils, though 41% of students spoke English as a second language.

More on this story