CORNISH NATIONAL MINORITY REPORT NO. 5
THE UNITED KINGDOM’S 5th REPORT TO THE COUNCIL OF EUROPE UNDER THE FRAMEWORK CONVENTION FOR THE PROTECTION OF NATIONAL MINORITIES
Cornwall and Cornish Pages 32-34
Para 19. The Advisory Committee calls on the authorities to take all the legal, policy, and financial
steps necessary to ensure access to the rights provided by the Framework Convention to persons
belonging to the Cornish minority, irrespective of any constitutional set-up.
Para 58. The authorities should reconsider their decision to cut all funding for the Cornish
language in view of the disproportionate impact such a measure can have on the delicate process
of revitalisation of a minority language when access to other public financial resources is limited.
Para 59. The Advisory Committee also calls on the authorities to engage in a dialogue with
representative of the Cornish minority to ensure that cultural policy is developed in a way
respectful of the traditions and identity of the minority.
Para 150. The Advisory Committee calls on the British-Irish Council to address actively the Cornish
language in its work and to endeavour to involve the Cornwall authorities, in part by creating an
institutional presence for Cornwall in the Council and by promoting bilateral relations between
the Cornwall authorities and other language communities’ administrations.
Recommendation: Take the necessary measures to include a Cornish ‘tick-box’ in the next census
in view of the Cornish people’s recognition as a national minority.
Recommendation: Take all necessary steps to ensure access to the linguistic and cultural rights
provided by the Framework Convention to the Cornish minority, in particular by reconsidering the
decision to cut all funding for the Cornish language in view of the disproportionate impact such a
measure will have on the delicate process of revitalising a minority language when access to other
public financial resources is limited.
Recommendation: Engage in a dialogue with the Cornish minority to ensure that cultural policies
are developed in a way respectful of the traditions and the identity of the minority; improve the
use and visibility of Cornish in public life at the local level and consider flexible and pragmatic
solutions to allow more systematic provision of education in the Cornish language and of the
Cornish language and culture.
The Government remains fully committed to ensuring that Cornish communities have access to the
rights and provisions summarised in the Articles of the Framework Convention. Though our ability to
provide resources for this work has been disrupted due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have
continued to engage closely with Cornwall Council and Cornish stakeholders regarding the provisions
of the Framework Convention.
In the Financial Year 2020/21, Cornwall Council has had access to £500.3m of non-ringfenced
funding – which represents an increase of £31.1m and a 6.6% cash-terms increase in spending power in comparison with the previous local government finance settlement. We have recommended that Cornwall Council use some of this funding to cover the costs of supporting projects to promote
Cornish language and culture.
The UK Government has also continued to formally represent Cornwall on the British-Irish Council’s
Indigenous and Minority Languages Working Group, and ensure that Cornwall Council has been able
to attend meetings at an official level to benefit from the discussion and ideas generated at this
The Office for National Statistics’ (ONS) recommendations for Census 2021 were published in the UK
Government’s December 2018 White Paper ‘Help Shape Our Future’ 30 . Paragraphs 3.116 to 3.120 of the White Paper set out the reasons why the ONS had concluded that the need for a Cornish tick -box is very localised and not strong enough to justify its inclusion in the nationwide census and that
those who wished to identify as Cornish could use the write-in option both online and on the paper
This was supplemented by the new online “search-as-you-type” facility for the
national identity question including the terms Cornish, Kerewek, Kernowek and Kernoauk.
The questions for the census were put into law through the Census Order 31, which was laid before
Parliament by UK Ministers and debated in both Houses of Parliament; the national identity question
and response options were included and were subject to a vote in each House.
The ONS offered a comprehensive package of support to the Cornish for the Census 32 including:
A strong local marketing and communications campaign (centred around the ability to self identify as Cornish in the national identity question). The media team promoting the
response options via Cornish news organisations, most of which have an online presence
and are read widely –not only in Cornwall.
Promoting beyond Cornwall the ability to self-identify as Cornish through its national
marketing and communications campaigns using networks to work with these communities.
Promoting the Cornish response options with content provided for organisations with a key
interest in Cornwall which are outside Cornwall.
Additional local field support to enable all those who wish to self-identify as being of any
particular identity, including Cornish, to know how to do so
A commitment to, for the first time, produce an analytical report on the population who
identify as Cornish, and how their health, housing, work and education differs from those
who do not identify as Cornish.
An on-line flexible dissemination system where users can specify the data on the Cornish
population that they need and define their own queries to build tables will be available.
The Advisory Committee calls on the authorities to take measures to improve the use
and visibility of Cornish in public life, and it calls on the UK Government to reinstate immediately
the previous level of funding and to consider the possibility of adopting a Cornish Language Act.
In December 2021, following an extensive community listening and engagement exercise, the
Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Leadership Board endorsed Gyllyn Warbarth, Together We Can: The
Cornwall Plan 2020-2050. One striking feature of the engagement was the strength of support and
pride in Cornwall’s rich culture, heritage and sense of belonging.
Valuing everyone’s cultural heritage and celebrating diversity in all its forms are also at the heart of the vision within the 2018-2022 Cornwall-wide equality objectives. The Cornwall Equality and
Diversity Network are in the process of refreshing objectives for 2022-2026.
Curriculum Kernewek is being developed by Cornwall Council’s Together for Families service. This
curriculum framework for schools aims to affirm and create the opportunity for children and young
people in Cornwall to express, preserve, share and develop their distinct culture and identity. A
range of learning materials and lesson plans have been created which have been incorporated into
the current Personal, Social and Health Education (PSHE) curriculum, and this will be monitored by
the PSHE curriculum board to ensure that Curriculum Kerwenek elements are foregrounded,
evaluated and adjusted as appropriate. The PHSE programme launched virtually in July 2020, with
over 200 attendees from schools. A second wave of promotion will take place during 2021,
representing a great opportunity to establish Curriculum Kernewek in a wider range of schools.
The Council is supporting schools with educational resources and visits to facilitate the roll out of
Curriculum Kernewek and is producing a standardised template which will assist in the creation of
web-based resources. In 2020, the Council employed three full-time Curriculum Advisers, whose
main focus is Curriculum Kernewek development. The Advisers are engaged with supporting schools
to ensure that there is a strong, integrated Curriculum Kernewek thread running through their
teaching, and that is distinctive to the context of their school and community.
A series of curriculum development workshops are taking place, which will produce units of work
that can be delivered from September 2021. The Council is also looking to place Curriculum
Kernewek at the heart of the Cultural Belonging strand of the Belonging Framework with the aim of
shifting away from the ‘additional, experiential curriculum enhancement’ model to an ‘embedded
content’ model, making Curriculum Kernewek the ‘golden thread’ running through the curriculum,
not a commissioned additional experience. This long-term project is designed to develop and embed
a Kernow-centric curriculum and intended to stop Cornwall and Cornish culture being seen as
The Council is currently considering the development of a ‘quality mark’ for schools that engage with
Curriculum Kernewek development work, with three levels reflecting the extent of their
engagement. The Council is also exploring, the possibility of aligning the Curriculum Kernewek
development work to higher education accreditation, offering the potential for teachers who
develop curriculum content and then engage in action research to trial it in the classroom, achieve a
Post Graduate certificate or diploma towards Masters level study.
In terms of higher education, the University of Exeter (UoE) continues to host the Institute of Cornish
Studies (ICS) at the Penryn campus in Cornwall. ICS is the only academic institution with a dedicated
Cornish focus and offers interventions into a range of UoE courses and modules, moderates PhDs
and undertakes a range of funded studies, including a significant audio archive of contemporary
recordings. With the support of the ICS, the University plans to start teaching Cornish language as an
undergraduate module in autumn 2021.
Fifth Report submitted by the ‘United Kingdom’ – Pursuant to Article 25, paragraph 2 of the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities – received on 4 November 2021