Bòrd na Gàidhlig to appoint Director of Gaelic Education

Bòrd na Gàidhlig, the public body responsible for promoting Gaelic language and culture, is seeking to appoint a new Director of Gaelic Education.

The post holder will be responsible for the Bòrd’s education policy, advising the Bòrd itself, Scottish Government and other education and learning providers such as local authorities on the Bòrd’s aims for developing Gaelic education.

Jim Whannel, Chair of the Learning Committee at Bòrd na Gàidhlig said: “The successful candidate will have the opportunity to make a significant contribution to the growth of Gaelic and Gaelic education at all levels – from children using Gaelic at home to adult learning via digital technology. The Bòrd’s work provides valuable support to families, local authorities and people learning Gaelic.

“We work closely with the Scottish Government, Education Scotland and other public bodies, universities and colleges and community groups and the Director of Gaelic Education is at the heart of this partnership working. The post will be both rewarding and stimulating for the successful candidate who will possess the knowledge, skills and abilities to take advantage of the opportunities which they will be given at the Bòrd.”

An information pack detailing the job and the terms and conditions is available from the Bòrd’s website www.gaidhlig.scot

Applications must be submitted by 5pm, Monday 22 October 2018.  The post is advertised on the salary scale C2, which starts at £60,379.

Anyone interested in the post who would like further information or to have an informal conversation about it, should contact Shona MacLennan, Ceannard, on shona@gaidhlig.scot to arrange this.

For more information: http://www.gaidhlig.scot/bord/corporate/staffing/vacancies/

Views sought to assess demand for Gaelic Language and Cultural Centre in Inverness

Alba Heritage Trust, a local Inverness based charity, is seeking opinions from the local community and interested individuals and groups from other localities, to assess whether there is a demand to establish a Gaelic Language and Cultural Centre in Inverness.  A local heritage building on the riverside, currently on the market, is being considered as a potential location for such a centre.

Impact Hub Inverness has been commissioned to research the level of demand for such a centre in the heart of Inverness.  The first stage in the process of gathering community opinion is an open survey which has gone live today at www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/JW8JXXT

In addition, local agencies and community groups involved in Gaelic language development activities will also be interviewed to seek their respective opinions and support. Desk based research will complete the study by the end of July 2018.

The idea of the cultural centre is not new and has been discussed over the years by many groups and individuals, but no targeted research has taken place until now. Some suggestions for what could potentially be available in the centre include a café, book/gift shop, performance space, workshop and exhibition space, Gaelic language classes and an informal social meeting place for Gaelic speakers, learners and individuals interested in the Gaelic heritage of the Highlands and Islands.

Alasdair Forbes from Alba Heritage Trust, explained more: “There are many Gaelic activities and groups that meet locally from parent groups and language classes to talks and events, and we feel a venue of this kind would complement and support all that exists in the area. We also know from the most recent Visit Scotland survey of tourists that 55% of people visiting the Highlands do so because they are interested in the history and culture of the Highlands and Islands.  Successful language and cultural centres exist in places such as Belfast, Derry, Cardiff and Merthyr Tydfil and we feel that a Gaelic Language and Cultural Centre in Inverness, the capital city of the Highlands and Islands, would bring added value, complement existing resources and services, and provide a focus for Gaelic development activity within the area.”

This survey work is supported by Bòrd na Gàidhlig and The Architectural Heritage Fund. You can access the survey online at the web address given above or if you would like a hard copy please contact Mary Riddoch at Impact Hub Inverness on 01463 715533 or by email: mary.riddoch@impacthub.net The survey is also available in Gaelic. Copies will be made available at the local mod at Eden Court Theatre this Friday 15 June.

New digital Gaelic resource for Young Scot

To celebrate the Year of Young People, Bòrd na Gàidhlig and Young Scot have announced a strategic partnership to develop and deliver a dedicated digital Gaelic resource which will be part of www.young.scot.  The partnership will also benefit from input from MG ALBA, the partner with the BBC in BBC ALBA, Scotland’s Gaelic television channel.

Funded by Bòrd na Gàidhlig, Young Scot will recruit a Gaelic speaker to help make sure their core services are reaching and benefitting Gaelic speakers and will connect young people from across Scotland to exciting new opportunities to get involved in the language, culture and heritage.

The project which was launched on Monday 30 April at the Young Scot offices in Edinburgh will develop an innovative digital resource; with tailored, bespoke information and opportunities, including relevant discounts, rewards and entitlements for young people using the Young Scot National Entitlement Card for Gaelic and non-Gaelic speakers.

This coincides with the recent launch of the new National Gaelic Language Plan 2018-2023 which has as its main aim that more people use Gaelic more often and in more situations.   Promoting the language, learning and using it are the three main ways that will support this aim.

This new resource will create more opportunities for young people to learn and use the language and engage in Gaelic cultural activities. Young Scot will also increase awareness and understanding of their services amongst the Gaelic community.

Shona MacLennan, Chief Executive of Bòrd na Gàidhlig said ‘Young people are critical to the growth of Gaelic and we were delighted when Calum Ferguson, a young Gaelic speaker and MG ALBA board member, became involved with the idea of developing Young Scot resources in Gaelic.  With more people involved in Gaelic medium education, we need to make sure that young people, of school age and older, have access to a wide range of resources which are attractive, interesting and useful.’

Louise Macdonald, Chief Executive for Young Scot said: “Having a dedicated resource for young people who speak Gaelic, want to learn more and to explore Gaelic heritage and culture is an amazing way for us to reach even more young people from across Scotland. Young Scot are delighted to be able to promote and support the Gaelic language to all young Scots and ensure our services are diverse, relevant and exciting to all”.

Young Scot are seeking a Gaelic Development Officer who will lead on the management of the initiative. Applications opened on Monday 30th April and will run for 4 weeks.


Bòrd na Gàidhlig welcomes Scottish Parliament support for Gaelic

Bòrd na Gàidhlig, the principal public body in Scotland responsible for promoting Gaelic development, has welcomed the continued cross‐party support for Gaelic as demonstrated in the Scottish Parliament debate today (Tuesday 24 April) and the announcements of funding for a third Gaelic school in Glasgow and Faclair na Gàidhlig, the historical dictionary project.

The debate was led by Deputy First Minister, John Swinney MSP, and focused on the priorities and commitments in the third National Gaelic Language Plan which was launched last month at the Parliament. The Plan’s main aim is that more people use Gaelic more often and in a wider range of situations.

Allan MacDonald, Chairman of Bòrd na Gàidhlig, said: “It is great to see Gaelic being debated by all parties in the Scottish Parliament and this, following on from the recent contributions by various MSPs in Gaelic during the UNESCO Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage debate, is of immense importance in efforts to normalise the use of the language in Scotland.”

Mr MacDonald continued: “We are delighted to note the announcement of the third dedicated Gaelic school in Glasgow and, as with the opening recently of the Bun‐sgoil Ghàidhlig Phort Rìgh on Skye, it is a reward for the dedication and tenacity of parents who see the benefits of their children being bilingual. We congratulate those parents who have fought long and hard for this and also Glasgow City Council for their support for the development of the Gaelic language in and around the city.”

In addition to the announcement of the new Gaelic School in Glasgow, the Deputy First Minister also announced a substantial investment for the next phase of Faclair na Gàidhlig, which will be the most comprehensive Gaelic dictionary ever produced.

Allan MacDonald said: “While the opening of a third Gaelic school in Glasgow is a hugely significant investment in Gaelic education, Faclair na Gàidhlig represents a major investment in language learning and development and is one which will provide people with the first comprehensive dictionary of Gaelic. Bòrd na Gàidhlig is delighted to have supported this project and we congratulate all the partners involved and we look forward to working closely with them in the years to come.”

The new Gaelic school in Glasgow, which will be located in the Cartvale area on the South Side of Glasgow, is expected to open in 2019 with the Royal National Mòd, the premier Gaelic celebration of Gaelic language and culture, also set to take place in the city next year.

Launch of the new National Gaelic Language Plan

The new National Gaelic Language Plan, which sets out the framework for the faster growth of the language across Scotland, has been launched today (Wednesday 28th March) at the Scottish Parliament.

The central purpose of the Plan is to encourage and enable more people to use Gaelic more often and in a wider range of situations.  The key messages, aims, priorities and new commitments contained in the Plan all contribute to achieving this increased use of Gaelic.  Principal amongst these are the following:

  • Gaelic belongs to the whole of Scotland
  • Promoting a positive image of Gaelic
  • Increasing the learning of Gaelic; and
  • Increasing the use of Gaelic

Welcoming the Plan John Swinney, Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills said “I am very pleased to launch this new National Gaelic Language Plan which reflects Gaelic’s unique and important contribution to many areas of Scottish life. It is vital that we have clear agreed priorities and continue to work together to increase the numbers speaking, learning and using the language. I would like to commend Bòrd na Gàidhlig for the work they have done in completing this Plan and I look forward to the opportunities for innovation, co-operation and progress prioritised in the plan over the next five years.”

The five-year plan is the result of a comprehensive consultation process with individuals, communities, Gaelic organisations, voluntary organisations, and public authorities.  It is the third such plan to be produced by Bòrd na Gàidhlig – the public body with responsibility for the promotion and development of the Gaelic language in Scotland.

Allan MacDonald, Chair of Bòrd na Gàidhlig, said: “The National Gaelic Language Plan 2018-2023 is a plan for the development of Gaelic throughout the whole of Scotland.  Appropriately in the Year of Young People, many of the priorities and commitments in the Plan are focused on increasing the number of young people learning and using Gaelic.

“Bòrd na Gàidhlig, with support from the Scottish Government and across the political spectrum, will work closely with partners and communities in rural and urban Scotland to promote the language.   The opportunities for Gaelic to contribute to Scotland’s economic growth through business, education, publishing, arts, literature, drama, media and music will be pursued and will ensure a positive long-term future for Gaelic.”

Amongst the priority areas for the next five years are:

  • Initiatives targeting the use of Gaelic by young people
  • Increasing the contribution Gaelic makes to the Scottish economy across different sectors
  • Increasing the demand and provision for Gaelic education
  • Developing Gaelic medium workforce recruitment, retention, training and supply
  • Gaelic in the family
  • Gaelic Language Plans developed and implemented by public bodies; and
  • Promotion of the social, economic and cultural value of Gaelic

Among those welcoming the Plan was Comhairle nan Eilean Siar (Western Isles Council). Convener Norman A MacDonald said: “Despite the challenges we face in terms of population, housing and jobs, the Comhairle has taken advantage of the many new opportunities which have arisen through government initiatives such as the Apprenticeship Scheme. This scheme encourages young islanders to earn whilst they learn and study for a degree in a subject which will be advantageous to them and to us in the future. The Comhairle also intends to participate in the Scottish Government’s Housing Scheme and we hope to see more houses being built in communities across the islands. Nearly three quarters of the land in the Western Isles is now in the hands of the community and over the past few years we have seen the impact that community ownership of land can have in terms of boosting people’s sense of identity and realising the importance of their own language and culture.

“The Comhairle welcomes the new National Plan and is pleased to see the emphasis Bòrd na Gàidhlig has placed on communities. We remain committed to supporting Gaelic and will continue to work in partnership the Scottish Government and Bòrd na Gàidhlig in addition to local groups and communities.”

Charlotte Wright, Chief Executive of Highlands and Islands Enterprise, pointed to one of its key themes – the contribution increasing the use of Gaelic can make to the economy of Scotland. “Following on from the research we carried out in 2014, ‘Ar Stòras Gàidhlig’, we fully support the new commitments to increase the links between the language and culture and economic growth,” she said.

“This is particularly important in communities where Gaelic is spoken by a significant number of people and we are working with them to create opportunities to attract and retain people, in particular young people.  Employment in the creative industries, heritage, tourism and food and drink sectors, and in education are all are positively influenced by Gaelic.

“Considerable opportunities are arising from the language’s potential contribution in helping to drive economic growth in the region. We recognise the potential Gaelic has to increase people’s skills, their employability and the confidence to be entrepreneurial and we look forward to delivering our contribution to the growth of Gaelic in Scotland.”

Councillor Fergal Dalton, Glasgow City Council Administration Gaelic spokesman said: “I’m delighted, on behalf of Glasgow City Council, to welcome the new National Gaelic Language Plan and specifically the focus on learning as one of the key areas for growth.

“Our city is a proud and active promoter of Gaelic education and we’ve seen a sharp increase in demand for GME over the last few years and saw the opening of our second Gaelic primary school last year and the recent announcement of the Glasgow Gaelic school annexe opening in time for the new school term in August to address demand.

“Just last week we were celebrating the news that the Glasgow Gaelic School is the top performing state school in Scotland.

“Glasgow is a diverse community and the Council believes Gaelic is part of all citizens’ heritage and the growth in GME and in Gaelic learning across the city shows how widely the language is embraced.”

Well-known Gaelic singer and chief executive of Fèisean nan Gàidheal, Arthur Cormack, also welcomed the aims of the 2018-23 National Gaelic Language Plan.

“Participation in the arts contributes to Gaelic use among people of all ages,” he said. “The arts raise awareness of the language and give some people confidence to learn Gaelic.  The arts are also important in terms of Gaelic’s economic impact with many people earning a living through the creative industries.

“It is through the arts that many people engage with the language and are left with a positive image of Gaelic at local, national and international level through events and the media.  I look forward to collaborating with various bodies to help implement the National Gaelic Language Plan.”

National Gaelic Language Plan 2018-2023

Bòrd na Gàidhlig a’ cuimhneachadh air Tormod MacIlleathain agus Seonaidh Ailig Mac a’ Phearsain.

Bha Bòrd na Gàidhlig gu math duilich an naidheachd a chluinntinn an-dè mu bhàs Thormoid MhicIlleathain agus bàs Sheonaidh Ailig Mhic a’ Phearsain. ’S e sàr Ghàidheil a bh’ anns an dithis aca agus iad air an t-uabhas a dhèanamh airson cultar agus cànan na Gàidhlig a bhrosnachadh air feadh an t-saoghail thairis air na bliadhnaichean.

Thug Tormod MacIlleathain tlachd do na mìltean air TBh agus air an àrd-ùrlar agus thug e cultar ’s cànan nan Gàidheal gu aire a’ mhòr-shluaigh leis an iomadh tàlant a bh’ aige.

Tha sinn cuideachd a’ caoidh Sheonaidh Ailig Mhic a’ Phearsain. Am measg na rinn e bha Seonaidh Ailig mar Iar-stiùiriche air Comataidh Craolaidh Gàidhlig agus cuideachd bha pàirt mhòr aige mar Chathraiche san obair a rinn Buidheann-gnìomh Riaghaltas na h-Alba às an tàinig Achd na Gàidhlig.

Thuirt Ailean Dòmhnallach, Cathraiche Bòrd na Gàidhlig “’S e fìor ghaisgich a bh’ ann an Tormod agus Seonaidh Ailig agus tha, agus bithidh, buaidh mhòr leantainneach aig an dithis aca air a’ Ghàidhlig chan e a-mhàin ann an Alba ach thall thairis cuideachd ann an iomadh dòigh. Tha sinn a’ cuimhneachadh an-diugh air Tormod agus Seonaidh Ailig, air na teaghlaichean agus air an iomadh caraid a bh’ aca air fad. Tha iad air dìleab mhìorbhaileach fhàgail againn tro chraoladh, pìobaireachd, bàrdachd agus litreachas agus ’s ann le pròis agus gàire a bhitheas cuimhne againn air an dithis aca.”