Scottish Social Attitudes Survey

Bòrd na Gàidhlig welcomes findings of new Scottish Social Attitudes survey as support for Gaelic increases hugely in a decade.


The full report and supporting documents can be found here.


The number of Scots who can speak some Gaelic has doubled in the past decade, the latest Scottish Social Attitudes survey has found.

The proportion of people who say they can speak at least the odd word of Gaelic has doubled from 15% in 2012 to 30% today.

Bòrd na Gàidhlig, the principal body in Scotland responsible for promoting Gaelic development, has hailed the survey as a major success for the language, with findings showing significant support and awareness throughout the country.

The Scottish Social Attitudes (SSA) survey is conducted by the Scottish Centre for Social Research (ScotCen) and has been tracking changes in people’s social, political and moral attitudes in Scotland since 1999.

The 2021 survey found that more than half of those surveyed would like to see the number of Gaelic speakers in Scotland rise in the future, with 56% giving their backing.

Young people, those with a greater knowledge of Gaelic, and those who have experienced greater exposure to the language are credited as the key factors associated with its growth. The survey shows that those who come in to contact with Gaelic are more likely to hold positive views.

The SSA also highlights a major shift of attitude towards education. More than half of those surveyed, 55%, believe that all children in Scotland between five and 15-years-old, should be taught Gaelic as a school subject for between one and two hours a week. This is a marked rise from just 38% support in 2012.

It is clear that Gaelic also contributes to wellbeing with 70% of adults stating that learning Gaelic gives someone a sense of achievement.

Mairi MacInnes, Chair at Bòrd na Gàidhlig, said: “Bòrd na Gàidhlig welcomes this latest report from the Scottish Social Attitudes survey. These results are excellent news and show the widespread support for Gaelic, which bodes well for its future. The rise in the usage of Gaelic is vital to preserving and growing the language for years to come, and we will continue to work tirelessly to provide support and solutions to help continue this growth.

“We are delighted by the rise in those with some knowledge of the language – to double that figure in a decade is a remarkable achievement. Support for the growth of Gaelic education in our schools will only support the rise in popularity for future generations and we believe it will be a vital part of our strategy to build on this success.”

Cabinet Secretary for Education Shirley-Anne Somerville said: “The rise in people speaking some Gaelic and support for its continued increase shows this Government’s commitment to promote and develop the language is having a meaningful impact.

“We  want to ensure that those who wish to use, or learn Gaelic are afforded the opportunity to do so and we will continue to work with partners in this aim.”

Questionnaire: Gaelic Usage

An independent review is being carried out just now on the current National Gaelic Language Plan, led by Sabhal Mòr Ostaig. As part of this work, they are researching Gaelic usage.

We’re looking for anyone with a little or a lot of Gaelic to fill in our Gaelic usage survey as part of this review.  This survey is open for 24hrs (from 8pm on Sunday 19th to 8pm on Monday 20th June) and can be filled in here:

These answers will contribute to SMO’s report which will be released in the coming months.

**Privacy Policy** 

New Website –

Bòrd na Gàidhlig (BnG) are delighted to announce the launch of a new website which will benefit all Gaelic speakers. is now live and it is a new resource where you can find information on activities and events happening around the world which are delivered solely in Gaelic.

This is a new resource which will be very useful both to groups and to members of the public.  Groups will be able to advertise their Gaelic events in one place online and equally, members of the public will be able to access information on a host of activities and events on one website.

Not only that, there are helpful videos to explain how you can set up your own group or event online with the aim of encouraging people to launch their own groups and events based on their hobbies and interests.

Over the past two years, we have all been grateful of the opportunities to join together online and through doing so, we have created and strengthened online communities.  Now that restrictions have eased and people can now meet face-to-face again, it is just as important to ensure that we continue with the online opportunies as well.

We welcome any thoughts and recommendations from one and all to ensure that the website serves us all as best it can.  If you’d like to get in touch, you can email or contact us through the Cleachd i social media channels or directly through the website. 

Brian Ó hEadhra, Partnerships and Funding Manager at Bòrd na Gàidhlig said:

“It was apparent that there was a need for a space online where prople could access information on events and activities being delivered in Gaelic – both online and in person.  We are very happy with the website and we hope that it will be a useful resource for people going forward. We feel that there are huge benefits to be had from the website with people finding out about activities that they were maybe unaware of and also to show the breadth of  events and activities being delivered in Gaelic throughout the country.  There will also be information on overseas events being held online such as Nova Scotia and Europe.”

Stakeholder Survey 2022

Have you had dealings with Bòrd na Gàidhlig in the past year?  The Stakeholder Survey 2022 is now open and we look forward to hearing your thoughts and suggestions.

It would be much appreciated if you could complete this form by 5pm on Thursday 30 June 2022.

Bòrd na Gàidhlig provides £500,000 Gaelic Officer Funding

Bòrd na Gàidhlig has awarded over £500,000 to 21 Gaelic projects as part of the Gaelic Officers Scheme – a new fund designed to enable organisations to employ member of staff focused on developing the language.

The Bòrd was inundated with applications for the programme, resulting in budget being more than doubled to meet demand.

Applications were welcomed from third-sector organisations looking to create a new post, or to extend an existing Gaelic development position. Each award is aimed at supporting officer posts in communities or sectors that currently have a lack of Gaelic provision.

Comann nam Pàrant Port Righ, the Gaelic Parent Council, is one of a number of organisations set to benefit from the new funding stream, following the largest award of £39,500. The funding will be put towards the creation of a new Gaelic Development Manager position within the school, which will bring together the ongoing Gaelic development work across Skye.

Among the other groups which have received awards are Coimhearsnachd Bharraidh agus Bhatarsaidh (Barra and Vatersay Community), who have received £25,000 funding for a new Gaelic Development Officer.

Young Scot has also benefitted from the funding, with an award of over £13,000 going towards the continuation of an existing Gaelic Digital Assistant post.

Culture, Heritage and Arts Assembly Argyll and Isles’ (CHARTS) pro-active work in developing the arts throughout Argyll has been recognised with an award of £25,000 for a Gaelic Culture Officer, while the Camanachd Association has received £16,000 to employ a Gaelic Language Development Officer.

Ionad Ghàidhlig Dhùn Èideann will also hire a Development Officer to take forward initial stages of developing a Gaelic centre in Edinburgh following an award of £13,600 as part of the Gaelic Officer Funding.

Mairi MacInnes, Chair at Bòrd na Gàidhlig, said: “Bòrd na Gàidhlig continues to provide innovative solutions to the ever increasing demand for Gaelic provision throughout Scotland and this has been no more evident than in the demand for our latest Gaelic Officer Funding.

“We were delighted by the standard of submissions, resulting in the doubling of the initial pot to over £500,000. Every organisation is truly a worthy recipient of the funding and will play their part in preserving and growing the Gaelic language, making sure that people in every part of the country can benefit for years to come.”

Education Secretary Shirley-Anne Somerville said: “I congratulate all recipients and welcome the high quality work of these organisations operating across Scotland. Gaelic is a vital part of Scotland’s cultural identity and we are determined to improve access for people to learn and use the language.

“Many of these organisations are supporting heartland communities that use Gaelic and it is important that they are given the opportunity to flourish.

“The Scottish Government has a range of ambitious commitments for the language. The work of these organisations and the projects they deliver will be vital to supporting these commitments and to the future of the language.”

Bòrd na Gàidhlig runs funding schemes at different times through the year. If you have a proposal for a project please email:, or phone 01463 225 454.


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:, 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 or by contacting


£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.