Early Years Education Grants Scheme Opens

Bòrd na Gàidhlig (BnG) are pleased to announce that the Early Years Grant Scheme is now open to applicants for 2022/23.

Our Early Years Grants scheme is run in partnership with Comann nam Pàrant and with support from the Scottish Government’s Children, Young People & Families Early Intervention Fund (CYPFEIF) and Adult Learning & Empowering Communities Fund (ALEC).

The Early Years Education Fund is specifically designed to be as accessible as possible to voluntary early years groups that support parents, families and children aged 0-3 years, to encourage and increase the day to day use of Gaelic, and to encourage continuity into Gaelic education.

19 different groups throughout the country received funding through the scheme last year including Pàrant is Pàiste Obar Dheathain. 

Pàrant is Pàiste Obair Dheathain provide pre-school activities for children aged 0-5, including story time, songs, messy/adventurous play and lots more.

The group meets twice a week, once for outdoor activities and once for indoor activities and the group is open to everyone with an interest in Gaelic. It’s a great launchpad for children who will hopefully be following on to Gaelic medium education too.

The group also supports parents who are learning Gaelic with online and face-to-face classes.

Magaidh Wentworth, Manager, Comann nam Pàrant said:

“Comann nam Pàrant are delighted to be able to support the Early Years.  It’s important that families are able to attend Gaelic services while the children are young.  The Early Years groups also support Gaelic in the home as well as adding to the number of children progressing to Gaelic Medium Education.”

Shona MacLennan, CEO, Bòrd na Gàidhlig said:

“The Early Years Grant Scheme supports the aims of the National Plan that Gaelic is used at home and also in early-years education.  It gives us great joy to see such a geographical spread of projects throughout the country benefitting from Gaelic and increasing its use in communities.   We hope to see an increase in opportunities for Gaelic in Early Years settings.” 

The scheme will be open for 9 weeks between 16 May and 21 July 2022. 

A full list of successful projects can be found here. 


Public Consultation Launches for National Gaelic Language Plan

The next National Gaelic Language Plan draft has been published today (27 April 2022), with responses invited as part of a 3-month public consultation period. The Plan can be viewed here.

The Scottish public will have the opportunity to offer their views, priorities and recommendations ahead of the final plan being presented to the Scottish Government later this year.

Seventeen events will be held around the country through May, June and July to present information about the plan in its draft form and gather further feedback.

The public is encouraged to respond via the survey portal: smartsurvey.co.uk/s/planagaidhlig, with the option also to submit opinions by email or written letter.

The Public Consultation period will be open until 5pm on 26 July 2022.

In line with the objectives in the current National Gaelic Language Plan, the author of this draft plan, Bòrd na Gàidhlig, is looking to maximise opportunities to use, learn and promote the language.

One of the key responsibilities of Bòrd na Gàidhlig under the Gaelic Language (Scotland) Act 2005 is to prepare the National Gaelic Language Plan every five years before submitting it to Scottish Ministers seeking approval.

Representatives from Bòrd na Gàidhlig’s executive team and board will be present at each public meeting, where the public can learn more about the proposals within the new draft plan.

Mary MacInnes, Bòrd na Gàidhlig’s Cathraiche, said: “This consultation process will help us collate opinions from across Scotland to finalise an effective National Gaelic Language Plan for 2023-2028.

“We encourage everyone to take part in whatever way they can, allowing a broad spectrum of views to shape the vision for Gaelic in the years to come.”

Cabinet Secretary for Languages Shirley-Anne Somerville said:

“The Scottish Government is determined to continue to support our Gaelic communities and the National Gaelic Language Plan sets out key priorities and opportunities for public authorities to work together to reach this aim.

“Public consultation is a crucial part of the process and I encourage anyone with an interest in the Gaelic language to share their views.”


Events are planned across Scotland through May-July and are open for anyone to attend:

11 May Online (Zoom), 7pm
18 May Isle of Lewis, 12pm
18 May Isle of Harris, 7pm
19 May Isle of Lewis, 7pm
25 May Edinburgh, 7pm
26 May Glasgow, 12pm
26 May Glasgow, 7pm
31 May Isle of Skye, 12pm
31 May Isle of Skye, 7pm
1 June North Uist, 7pm
2 June South Uist, 7pm
14 June Inverness, 7pm
15 June Aberdeen, 7pm
16 June Online (Zoom), 7pm
28 June Fort William, 7pm
29 June Oban, 7pm
13 July Online (Zoom), 7pm


All meetings are scheduled to last approximately one hour, with Gaelic or English responses welcome (simultaneous translations to English will be available at all events).

For information on how to attend visit EventBrite: Gàidhlig 2023-28.

You can find out more about the consultation process at www.smartsurvey.co.uk/s/planagaidhlig or by contacting plana@astarmedia.scot


£88k awarded to Colmcille Projects

Bòrd na Gàidhlig (BnG) are pleased to announce that they are awarding £88,880 to 10 projects in Scotland and 3 Irish Gaelic learners through their Colmcille funding scheme. 

Colmcille is a partnership between Foras na Gaeilge in Ireland and Bòrd na Gàidhlig in Scotland. It fosters communication and collaboration between the language communities of Scottish and Irish Gaelic.

In 2022 we will continue to celebrate the legacy of Colmcille 1500, with special events and projects.

Funding is available to help support projects which will bring Gaelic and Irish speakers together, and also for Gaelic speakers looking to undertake an Irish course. 

This year, we are supporting three people who will be undertaking Irish Gaelic language courses as well as 10 various projects aimed at strengthening the links between Scotland and Ireland.  Among those projects is Bragar and Arnol Community Trust (BACT) in Lewis with their Ceangal2022 project.  As part of their project, they intend to engage with community groups,  social enterprise and voluntary organisations and others in and around the Dingle Peninsula to learn and to share knowledge, customs and experiences.

Murdo Morrison, Community Officer at BACT said: “We are delighted and grateful for this support in building international links between our own community on the West Side of Lewis and the people of County Kerry. Through this initiative, we will be looking to establish community, language, cultural, educational, arts and other links.”

Funding will be given to 10 projects throughout the country and in a host of different environments including a Celtic Eco-Museum in the Isle of Skye, an Edinburgh based poetry project, shinty for youth in both Scotland and Ireland as well as a project regarding tourism in the Highlands. 

Brian Ó hEadhra, Partnerships and Funding Manager, Bòrd na Gàidhlig said: “It gives us great joy to support these groups whilst they continue to build connections with our friends in Ireland.  The Colmcille funding scheme has been running for many years and this demonstrates the importance of these connections.  It’s also encouraging to see applications each year from Gaelic speakers who are not only keen to learn Irish Gaelic but also to strengthen the linguistic connections.”

The scheme was open for 13 weeks between 11 November 2021 and 10 February 2022.  Foras na Gaeilge have their scheme open until 20 April and further information can be found here  

A full list of successful projects can be found here. 


£142k awarded to community projects across Scotland

Bòrd na Gàidhlig (BnG) are pleased to announce that they are awarding £142,000 to community based projects in Scotland through their Taic Freumhan Coimhearsnachd (TFC) funding scheme.


The TFC funding scheme was established to help community groups to undertake projects in support of the National Gaelic Language Plan.


54 projects are to be funded by the TFC scheme for the year 2022-23. 


The successful projects include Gaelic language classes, Mòd and Comann nam Pàrant groups and projects which aim to support the Gaelic language. The projects are being run across the country, covering areas such as Inverclyde, Edinburgh, Stirling, Mull and the Highlands and Islands. 


Shona MacLennan, CEO of Bòrd na Gàidhlig said:


“The Taic Freumhan Coimhearsnachd scheme contributes significantly to the National Gaelic Language Plan’s aim of increasing the use of Gaelic, by more people, in more situations.  We are very pleased to be supporting a wide range of projects and areas which will be increasing the use and learning of Gaelic in communities across the country. 


“We were pleased to receive more applications for funding than we did last year and we take that as a sign that communities are preparing to embark on new Gaelic projects and initiatives. Covid-19 has had a big impact on the work that groups do in their own communities and much of that work has been done online.  We are looking forward to the return of face-to-face events and projects in the coming year, as well as some projects continuing online.


“We would like to send our sincere thanks to everyone who is working hard in their communities to increase the use of Gàidhlig in what is a challenging time and we hope that this funding will be very helpful in areas across Scotland.”


The scheme was open for 9 weeks between 11 November 2021 and 18 January 2022. 

A full list of successful projects can be found here. 



Bòrd na Gàidhlig and University of Strathclyde launch the first-ever accredited Gaelic as a Modern Language teaching qualification

The introduction of the ATQ follows on from the successful Languages Week Scotland 2022


The University of Strathclyde, in partnership with Bòrd na Gàidhlig and with support from the General Teaching Council Scotland, has launched a groundbreaking Additional Teaching Qualification which will enable Secondary Modern Languages teachers to provide courses for Gaelic learners as part of the modern languages curriculum on offer in their schools.


The Additional Teaching Qualification will broaden and enrich Scotland’s delivery of languages, with modern languages teachers, who undertake the course, able to teach

Gaelic in addition to the more traditional curriculum of French, German and Spanish.


Eight teachers from Glasgow, North Lanarkshire, and West Dunbartonshire local authorities are the first to sign up for the pilot, with their respective schools guaranteeing Gaelic will be taught as a modern language upon the teachers’ completion of the accredited course.


The University of Strathclyde and Bòrd na Gàidhlig say that this fresh approach to delivery could change the face of the language in Scotland by providing a fundamental step in creating a new base of Gaelic speakers. This project will also add to the employability of the young people who engage with Gaelic Learners curriculum at school, as use of the language grows in the workplace.


The 18-month programme, delivered in a blended format both online and on campus, is aimed at teachers with limited knowledge of Gaelic. Following completion of the ATQ, the the teachers will become officially registered with the GTCS as teachers of Gaelic as a Modern Language. This will increase the number of GTCS registered modern languages teachers with the ability to teach Gaelic in secondary schools.


The launch of the course follows on from Bòrd na Gàidhlig’s Dèan Diofar (Make A Difference) social media campaign. Dèan Diofar follows the paths of six teachers currently teaching in Gaelic-medium Education and is aimed at encouraging people worldwide to consider a career in Gaelic-medium education.


Mairi MacInnes, Chair at Bòrd na Gàidhlig, said: “The establishment of a Gaelic Additional Teachers Qualification is a fantastic example of an initiative which could herald a new chapter for Gaelic in Scotland’s schools. Bòrd na Gàidhlig are delighted to have provided funding and support to The University of Strathclyde for the creation of the Gaelic Additional Teachers Qualification, and we will work closely with them to track the progess of the course’s first-ever cohort with great excitement.”


Linda Brownlow, Head of School of Education at The University of Strathclyde, said: “The Gaelic Additional Teaching Qualification project seeks to build a community of new speakers within Gaelic Education, to foster collaboration and develop innovative new ways to promote all forms of teaching the language. The University of Strathclyde is determined to be at the forefront of fully equipping the nation’s teachers with the necessary skills and qualifications to provide Gaelic Learners classes, while delivering positive change for both modern language and Gaelic education throughout our schools.”


Shirley-Anne Somerville, Cabinet Secretary for Languages, said: “The Scottish Government recognises the importance of widening access to those interested in teaching the Gaelic language and the development of this Additional Teaching Qualification pilot is a positive step forward. I hope it will encourage other local authorities to be involved in future years.”

Webinar on Gaelic and Sámi

There will be a webinar taking place on Wednesday 16 February at 09:30 where a host of people will be discussing both Gaelic and Sámi languages. They hope to share their knowledge on the promotion of indigenous languages at this event.


Jim Whannel, Bòrd na Gàidhlig’s Director of Education, will be taking part in the webinar and further information and registration can be accessed here.



New Board Members

Bòrd na Gàidhlig (BnG) are delighted to welcome two new member to their Board as announced by the Scottish Government.


Seonaidh Charity is a Gaelic secondary teacher in Inverness, teaching Gaelic as a language to both GME pupils and learners, as well as subjects through the medium of Gaelic. As a former GME pupil himself, Seonaidh went on to study Gaelic at Glasgow University and gained a PGDE from Strathclyde University.  He then worked as a classroom teacher and Curriculum Leader in Edinburgh. He has experience in delivering teacher education having previously worked as a Programme Leader and Senior Lecturer on Sabhal Mòr Ostaig’s BA Gaelic and Education degree and UHI’s PGDE courses. Seonaidh was awarded a Master of Education (Med) Critical Enquiry with Distinction from UHI, having carried out research into improving speaking skills among GME pupils.


Nicola NicThòmais is a native Gaelic speaker from the Isle of Skye, where she lives with her husband and their three young children. She has spent most of her working career at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, the National Centre for Gaelic Language, latterly as Director of Corporate Affairs, and now runs her own virtual support business, Lasair Ltd.  Nicola brings a broad range of senior management experience, particularly in human resources, corporate governance and administration. She was a director on the Board of Fàs Mòr, currently serves as a member of the Church of Scotland’s Gaelic group and currently runs her local church’s youth group for Gaelic-speaking teenagers.


Mary MacInnes, Chair, Bòrd na Gàidhlig said “We’re delighted to welcome Seonaidh and Nicola as new board members at Bòrd na Gàidhlig.  It’s very important to us as an organisation that we have a wide range of knowledge and communities on the board and also that we renew membership.  We look forward to working with them at BnG at a time that is full of opportunity for developing Gaelic – there’ll be a warm welcome for them.”

Bòrd na Gàidhlig annual report reveals vital support provided to Scotland’s Gaelic language throughout COVID-19 pandemic

Bòrd na Gàidhlig annual report reveals vital support provided to Scotland’s Gaelic language throughout COVID-19 pandemic


Bòrd na Gàidhlig’s 2020-21 annual report has revealed that the organisation ensured support of Gaelic language and culture, through extensive consultation and the creation of vital solutions, during the challenges of the pandemic.


The non-departmental public body ensured that its work, along with that of its delivery partners, remained at the fore in challenging times and increased the use, learning and promotion of Gaelic.


Welcome additional support was provided for families with pupils in Gaelic medium education through establishing the #cleachdiaigantaigh/#useitathome partnership initiative. This was forged out of the successful #cleachdi project and brought together a number of delivery partners to create and promote resources for pupils to use at home during lockdown.


Bòrd na Gàidhlig also quickly established a fund specifically designed to support organisations in their respose to the pandemic, distributing over £280,000 to 53 projects.


Communities in the islands were supported through the creation of a separate fund, administered by Community Land Scotland, to enable community trusts to develop their own projects to increase the use and learning of Gaelic. Further funding was also provided to enable Comann na Gàidhlig and Fèisean nan Gàidheal to recruit more officers to strengthen their work, particularly in the islands.


Throughout the pandemic, the Bòrd continued its support for people to develop their Gaelic skills despite the significant impact on work placements and face-to-face education. This included funding for the new multi-faceted learning brand SpeakGaelic, which went live this year and will build on the huge increase in online Gaelic learning during lockdown, with over 600,000 active learners using Scottish Gaelic Duolingo last year.


The Bòrd also worked closely with Gaelic youth organisations Fèisean nan Gàidheal and Comunn na Gàidhlig to find out what young people wanted from Gaelic and ways that they could be supported to use the language more. This and other extensive consultations run by the Bòrd and others will contribute to the next National Gaelic Language Plan.


Over the past 12 months, Bòrd na Gàidhlig worked closely with 67 public authorities on Gaelic language plans which support Gaelic in the workplace and public life. To date, 59 of those Scottish public authorities have approved Gaelic language plans, with many now on to their second, third or fourth iterations. Additionally, eight new organisations started to develop their plans over the past year.  The plans have a direct impact on the visibility and normalisation of Gaelic across the country.


According to the report, the Bòrd received a total Grant-in-Aid allocation of just over £5.3 million – the financial allocation Bòrd na Gàidhlig is required to operate within by Scottish Ministers.


Of that total, £1.5 million covered core running costs, while £2.6 million went to general Gaelic development funds – including community funding for people, projects and groups – and £1.25 million towards the Gaelic Language Plans Implementation Fund.


Mairi MacInnes, Chair of Bòrd na Gàidhlig, said: “The past year presented us, like everyone else, with an unprecedented situation. However, the improvement embedded within the organisation has enabled Bòrd na Gàidhlig to face the challenges with confidence and this has resulted in many successes.


“Developing and supporting Gaelic – whilst responding to the fall-out from the pandemic, its impact on individuals and families, communities, and public bodies – has remained our core purpose. We have introduced bold innovations and collaborations which will now be a normal part of the delivery of Gaelic development.


“The phenomenal increase in learning Gaelic during lockdown is a clear sign of the potential to increase the number of speakers . We continue to stress the importance of the message that Gaelic belongs to the whole of Scotland and we are also aware of the international interest in our language and culture.”


Cabinet Secretary for Scotland’s Languages Shirley-Anne Somerville said: “Bòrd na Gàidhlig continue to play a vital role in promoting and supporting the Gaelic language and its speakers.


“This annual report underlines the excellent work of the Bòrd in ensuring Gaelic education continued in the extremely challenging circumstances presented by the pandemic.”


Bòrd na Gàidhlig’s audited annual report has also been issued, with the Section 22 report highlighting significant improvement in the body’s leadership and governance. Of the 72 actions recommended in the 2018-19 audit, 71 of these have now been completed


The report states: “The Bòrd of today is an improved organisation to the one subject to the 2018/19 audit report. The pace of improvement in overhauling the organisation’s governance structure and Leadership Team and increasing significantly its openness and transparency is welcome.”


Mairi MacInnes said: “Governance is an ongoing process and we will continue to follow the guidance that we receive to constantly assess where we are and where we can yet improve. That responsibility falls on all board members and staff to ensure that scrutiny is always maintained. We welcome the findings of the new audit report, and understand that we must continue to move forward as a collective to ensure that the Bòrd is best serving the development of Gaelic.”


Note to Editors

Bòrd na Gàidhlig

Bòrd na Gàidhlig (the Bòrd) is an executive non-departmental public body established under the Gaelic Language (Scotland) Act 2005. It is the principal body in Scotland responsible for promoting Gaelic development and providing advice to the Scottish Ministers on Gaelic matters, including education.


The Bòrd’s vision is that Gaelic is seen and heard on a daily basis across Scotland, such that it is widely recognised as an integral part of Scottish life and as a national, cultural and economic asset.  Much of the Bòrd’s work focuses on developing and promoting use of the National Gaelic Language Plan, together with the development and monitoring of Gaelic Language Plans (GLPs) by Public Authorities and delivering funding schemes to support increased use, learning and promotion of Gaelic.  These are the three main aims of the National Gaelic Language Plan. Bòrd na Gàidhlig works to promote Gaelic in partnership with the Scottish Government, local authorities, public bodies, delivery partners, communities and individuals.


Bòrd na Gàidhlig has statutory educational responsibilities under the 2005 Gaelic Language (Scotland) Act and the 2016 Education (Scotland) Act.


Public Meetings in Renfrewshire and Fife


Bòrd na Gàidhlig warmly invites parents, carers, organisations or individuals with an interest to an on-line meeting on Gaelic-medium Education. Come along and find out more about Gaelic-medium and how it can be set up in Renfrewshire and in Fife.

Jim Whannel, Director of Gaelic Education, at BnG, will deliver a short presentation on the benefits of Gaelic-medium and answer any questions prospective parents may have.

Renfrewshire Council and Fife Council promote the potential provision of Gaelic-medium Education in the area and will co-host the meeting along with representatives of Comann nam Pàrant, the national organisation which offers advice and support on Gaelic medium education to parents.

The meeting for Renfrewshire will take place on Teams, Monday 29th of November at 18.30.

The meeting for Fife will take place on Teams, Wednesday 24th of November at 18:30.

We welcome you to share this meeting on social media or to anyone who may be of interest.

Please register for the meetings through the link below.

Register for Public Meetings