Spanish government asks education inspectors to act to ensure 25%-in-Spanish ruling is observed

Two state officials will have to make sure enough Spanish is spoken in 5,459 schools

2 min
An ESO student doing a high school assignment at home, in an archive image

BarcelonaCatalonia's High Court's latest resolution orders the Generalitat to enforce the ruling whereby 25% of classes in schools across Catalonia must be taught in Spanish. It also gives powers to Ministry of Education inspectors to report to the court on compliance with the ruling. Until now, the Spanish executive had kept a low profile and had not pushed for the ruling to be enforced, despite the fact that it was the precisely the Spanish government (albeit under the PP) which filed the lawsuit in the first place. Nevertheless, this Tuesday government spokesperson Isabel Rodríguez said she will ask inspectors to take action to enforce the ruling: "We reiterate that rulings must be complied with and that court orders must be obeyed".

Rodríguez explained that she will instruct the High Inspectorate for Education "so that, within its competences, the courts' orders are followed". The Ministry of Education has two inspectors in Catalonia, who will be tasked with monitoring compliance in 5,459 Catalan schools. The High Court has given the Generalitat fifteen days to enforce the ruling, yet Rodriguez called for calm and assured that the school year would end in "absolute normality".

Beyond the role the High Court has given the State, the court also legitimised a third party: the Assembly for a Bilingual School was acknowledged as an affected party, meaning it may request a forced execution of the ruling and notify magistrates of eventual non-compliance. The Catalan Government plans to file an appeal against this finding, questioning the Assembly's legitimacy. It will also accuse the High Court of overreach for giving specific instructions as to how the sentence should be enforced.

A "human error"

As for the linguistic errors in the order that made it compulsory for 25% of classes to be in Spanish, the president of the administrative chamber of the Catalan High Court has expressed his "sincere apologies" and blamed the mistakes on "a very unfortunate human error in the exchange of working drafts". The Department of Justice recalled all courts in Catalonia have at their disposal a linguistic service to attend requests for the translation and proofreading of court documents. There is no record of the High Court contacting the language service.