Bòrd na Gàidhlig Publishes Guidance on Gaelic Education

Bòrd na Gàidhlig has today published Statutory Guidance on Gaelic Education. The Guidance offers clarification to the Gaelic provisions in the 2016 Education (Scotland) Act and, for the first time, sets out clearly what parents can expect for their children in Gaelic education.

The Guidance coincides with the launch of new powers which strengthen the rights of parents who request Gaelic medium education for their children.

Welcoming the Statutory Guidance, Deputy First Minister, Mr John Swinney said: “I welcome the publication of this Guidance on Gaelic Education by Bòrd na Gàidhlig.  This Guidance is a first for Gaelic education, setting out what authorities are expected to deliver and what parents can expect to receive for their children.  This Guidance will be valuable for the future growth of Gaelic education and I would now like to see all key interests using this Guidance and thereby making good progress with promoting and supporting Gaelic education in Scotland.”

Bòrd na Gàidhlig Cathraiche (Chair), Allan MacDonald said: “The creation of the Statutory Guidance on Gaelic education is a critical milestone for Gaelic education. It makes clear what parents and carers can expect as well as setting out formally the responsibilities of Local Authorities.   It also establishes clear expectations on a range of elements of Gaelic education from early years through to secondary education.  Demand for Gaelic education is ever growing across Scotland, and in order to further strengthen this sector this Guidance will be crucial. We were delighted with the responses obtained through the public consultation process, and would like to thank those that took time to respond to the questions on this extremely important piece of legislation.”

Dr Bill Maxwell, Chief Inspector of Education at Education Scotland said: “Education Scotland has been pleased to work with our partners on the successes of Gaelic within Scottish education. This new statutory Guidance draws on key messages from inspection and our publication, ‘Advice on Gaelic Education’.   Taken together, this presents a new stage of development in achieving high-quality learning experiences for children and young people in Gaelic Education.  To achieve this, leaders at all levels in education need to have a strong focus and high expectations in identifying priorities to make a difference to Gaelic.”

Comann nam Pàrant said: “Parental engagement and parental commitment have always been strong features of Gaelic medium education. This legislation, which is welcomed by Comann nam Pàrant, will strengthen our parental voice and help support families’ endeavours on behalf of their children and the Gaelic language. Comann nam Pàrant looks forward to working with Bòrd na Gàidhlig in supporting local authorities to put in place measures that will fulfil their obligations under the National Guidance, particularly with regard to promotion and support for GME at all stages.”

The Statutory Guidance has been prepared by Bòrd na Gàidhlig as required by the Education (Scotland) Act 2016, and offers further explanation to the Gaelic provisions in the Act and more generally on how Gaelic education should be delivered in Scottish schools.