New Ceannard of Bòrd na Gàidhlig Appointed

Bòrd na Gàidhlig today announced the appointment of Ealasaid MacDonald as its new Ceannard (CEO) who will take up the post in September 2023.

Ealasaid, hailing from the Western Isles and with her home in Stornoway has extensive experience of working in both mainland and island settings.  In her current role as Director of Strategy and External Affairs with MG ALBA she leads on corporate and stakeholder communications. With experience of working in the public sector and as a freelance policy and public affairs consultant, Ealasaid has been at the forefront of many initiatives and developments to promote the needs of Gaelic speakers throughout her career.

Based in Stornoway, Ealasaid will lead Bòrd na Gàidhlig through forthcoming developments, working closely with Board members and the senior management team, and also with Scottish Government, public bodies and Gaelic communities.

Màiri MacInnes, Chair of Bòrd na Gàidhlig, said: “We are delighted to welcome Ealasaid to this important role, at an exciting time for the progress of the Gaelic language with a new National Gaelic Language Plan and a new Scottish Languages Bill. She has a background working with key public bodies and with a particular focus on corporate policy initiatives. With her experience of working in this sector, Bòrd na Gàidhlig will benefit from the skills she has acquired in management and development issues related to the Gaelic language and culture.”

Ealasaid said, “I am very pleased to be taking on this important role at a crucial time for Gaelic. I look forward to working with our communities, Gaelic organisations and wider partners to develop the Gaelic language across Scotland and beyond. Working in partnership is a reason for success as we look towards the new National Plan for Gaelic, it is more important than ever.”

Education Secretary Jenny Gilruth said: “I would like to welcome the appointment of Ealasaid MacDonald as the next CEO at Bòrd na Gàidhlig and congratulate her on a successful application for this important ministerial appointment.”

“The Scottish Government is looking forward to working closely with Ealasaid and the team at Bòrd na Gàidhlig in supporting and promoting Gaelic across Scotland as we prepare to take forward our Scottish Languages Bill.”

Bòrd na Gàidhlig Seeks New Ceannard

Bòrd na Gàidhlig is the public body responsible for planning and leading the campaign to promote the Gaelic language and its culture in Scotland on behalf of the Scottish Government. Our aim is that the Gaelic language will be seen and heard on a daily basis throughout Scotland, to the extent that it will be recognized as a fundamental part of the lives of the people of Scotland and as a precious language that contributes to the culture and economy of the country.

Bòrd na Gàidhlig is looking for a bold and dynamic individual with a passion for Scotland’s Gaelic language and culture and someone who can drive forward this national asset. You may come from another public sector or third sector environment with a national focus.

As Ceannard, you will ensure that decisions and policies are implemented effectively and efficiently through leading the senior management team, managing the staff and through promoting BnG’s work with others.  In that role, building relationships with other organisations, public and community, as well as other government departments is key.

Responsibilities include:

  • Accountable to the Board, you will lead the work of the organisation, ensuring that the strategic aims and objectives of the organisation are achieved
  • Accountable to the Scottish Parliament and Scottish Ministers as the Accountable Officer for Bòrd na Gàidhlig.
  • Ensuring the organisation develops the National Gaelic Language Plan and monitors its implementation.
  • Partnership working, initiating and establishing innovative approaches to partnerships, and modelling excellent consultation and collaboration with key stakeholders
  • Leading and representing Bòrd na Gàidhlig to promote the work of the organisation, both internally and externally, working for the long-term aims of Bòrd na Gàidhlig and growing the reputation of the organisation
  • Guiding the development, monitoring and reviewing of strategies and plans, through the effective management of Bòrd na Gàidhlig’s activities and resources
  • Accountable for corporate governance and ensuring the organisation meets all regulatory and public sector responsibilities and duties

You will have the initiative and resilience to lead an organisation of this size in a complex environment. An outstanding communicator with integrity and enthusiasm to develop high performing teams and drive a culture of excellence. A commitment to equality, inclusion and diversity is essential to create an environment where everyone can meet their full potential.

Candidates need not necessarily have operated at CEO level before but will bring a breadth of leadership experience to this role.

If you share Bòrd na Gàidhlig’s ambitious vision and would relish driving this forward, we would very much welcome your application.

Further information:

Bòrd na Gàidhlig

Recruitment underway for 3 new Board Members

Scottish Ministers are seeking to appoint three skilled and committed individuals to the board of the principal public body for the promotion of the Gaelic language, Bòrd na Gàidhlig.

Scottish Ministers welcome applications from people from a wide range of backgrounds who have the following skills, knowledge and experience:

Generalist skills/knowledge/experience

  • Gaelic communication skills
  • Oversight & Accountability
  • Effective analysis & Decision making
  • Communication & Teamworking

*Specialist skills/knowledge/experience

  • Language planning
  • Legal background/awareness

Cathraiche (Chair) of Bòrd na Gàidhlig, Màiri MacInnes said: “Being part of the Board of Bòrd na Gàidhlig is an exciting opportunity to be involved in the development and promotion of the language. I would encourage all those with the commitment, expertise and passion in securing the future of the Gaelic language in all communities, whether that be online, cities or rural areas to apply for one of these appointments.”

An informal information session will be held for any interested parties to ask any questions or learn more about the role on Wednesday 5 April 2023 at 6:30pm. You can register for the event at

Board members will be expected to spend on average three days per month on BnG business. The appointments will take effect on 1 August 2023, and the closing date for applications is 24 April 2023.

Interviews will take place in June 2023.

How to apply

An application pack and full details on these posts and other public appointments can be found at the public appointments website

Bòrd na Gàidhlig provides almost £1 million for Gaelic Development Officers

Bòrd na Gàidhlig funding aimed at promoting Gaelic has provided almost £1 million for language development officers since its launch.

A new funding stream, made possible by £400k in extra funding from the Scottish Government, which allows organisations to extend the one-year term of Gaelic development officers currently funded under the Gaelic Officer Scheme, has provided 20 awards alone for the current funding round in 2023.

Organisations from the Western Isles, Highlands, Argyll and Bute, Edinburgh, and Glasgow – working in a range of sectors including sports, arts and culture, environment, and education – are among those to benefit.

The total funding for this year’s round amounts to £473,165, providing an extension to 11 existing contracts and creating 9 new roles. The funding has helped facilitate numerous initiatives aimed at promoting Gaelic development and increasing the use of the language and culture in Gaelic communities throughout Scotland.

Over the two years, a total of £957,000 has been allocated to this development work.

Mairi MacInnes, Chair at Bòrd na Gàidhlig, said: “This funding scheme has led to significant progress in promoting the Gaelic language and culture across Scotland. The Gaelic development officers have helped to facilitate numerous initiatives that promote Gaelic development, such as community-based programs, cultural events, and educational activities.

“We are pleased to support the outstanding work of these organisations and look forward to seeing the continued growth of Gaelic communities throughout Scotland.”


Gaelic Medium Education

Bòrd na Gàidhlig is aware of situations regarding Gaelic medium education and the need for more teachers to ensure that it can continue to grow.

In terms of education, Bòrd na Gàidhlig has a duty to publish the Statutory Guidance for Gaelic Education. Local authorities have the duty to provide education and responsibilities regarding teacher recruitment and retention.  The Scottish Funding Council, GTCS and universities have responsibilities in relation to teacher training.

Bòrd na Gàidhlig worked with officers at Highland, Argyll and Bute and Aberdeen City Councils to make recommendations on actions that would support the recruitment and retention of teachers and that report was submitted to the Councils last year.  This included recommendations on making teaching posts more attractive through offering permanent, full-time contracts, creating promotion structures and addressing issues such as access to affordable housing.

The second part of the report addressing national issues has been provided to The Highland Council, Scottish Government and others.  According to the most recent SG data, over one-third of those teachers qualified to teach in Gaelic medium are currently working in English medium. You can read the full report here.

In addition to providing advice, Bòrd na Gàidhlig works to encourage people to take up a career in teaching through the #DèanDiofar (MakeaDifference) campaigns promoting teaching and early-years careers, and through collaboration with many other organisations. BnG has a Development Officer (Teachers) who visits schools and universities to bring teaching to people’s attention as a career.

Bursaries are available from Bòrd na Gàidhlig to encourage people who are considering changing careers to train as teachers, for students undertaking Initial Teacher Education, for those who are registered teachers to become Gaelic-medium teachers through immersion courses and support also for probationary teachers.

New Director of Education at Bòrd na Gàidhlig

Bòrd na Gàidhlig is delighted to announce the appointment of Jennifer McHarrie as Director of Education who takes up her appointment on 05 December 2022. Jennifer will lead the education team at Bòrd na Gàidhlig and work with them to lead the education policies of the Bòrd. Bòrd na Gàidhlig provides advice to the Scottish Government on Gaelic Education, works with education authorities and other bodies involved in the delivery of education in order to achieve the Bòrd’s objectives, and Jennifer will oversee the work of the Bòrd in the implementation of Statutory Guidance in the various agencies.

A resident of Carluke (South Lanarkshire) Jennifer has a wealth of experience in both the public and private sector relating to languages and education. She is a graduate of Glasgow University (French/Hispanic Studies) and learned Gaelic as an adult via a variety of different courses including evening classes in Glasgow and Lanarkshire, An Cùrsa Inntrigidh with Sabhal Mòr Ostaig and recently completed Glasgow University’s Bliadhna Bogaidh, awarded with distinction. Jennifer joins BnaG from SQA, where she has worked for over 10 years, most recently as Qualifications Co-ordinator for on a wide range of projects relating to Gaelic including delivering the Educational Commitments in SQA’s Gaelic Language Plan, plus co-ordinating and growing Gaelic-medium provision. She has worked closely with teachers, local authorities in the Secondary, FE, HE and CLD sectors and has insight into the complex educational landscape, and also Language Planning and Policy at a national level.  A true advocate for the benefits of bilingualism, she has also worked in Translation Project Management, International Export and been an English Language Assistant in Northern Spain.

Mairi  MacInnes, Chair of Bòrd na Gàidhlig, said, ‘We are extremely fortunate that someone with such extensive experience is going to strengthen the education team at the Bòrd. In particular, this will support local authorities and other bodies in realising the benefits of GME in their areas and in meeting the objectives set out in the National Gaelic Language Plan.”

Bòrd na Gàidhlig Welcomes New Director of Development

Bòrd na Gàidhlig (BnG) is delighted to announce the appointment of a new Director of Development.

Iain MacMillan has been working with BnG on a 6-month interim post as Director of Development to provide additional support. After a successful recruitment process, Iain will now take up the role on a permanent basis.

Born and raised in South Uist, Iain now lives in Stornoway. He has a wealth of experience in the public sector having spent the last 40 years in various roles and has held senior positions for the last 30 years. Iain was Principal and CEO of Lews Castle College (UHI) for over 8 years until August 2020. From April 2017 to November 2019, he also undertook a part-time role as Vice Principal (Strategic Harmonisation and Operational Efficiencies) for UHI.

From 2004, he had held the post of Director of Finance and Corporate Services at the College. Prior to that, he had held various positions within Local Authorities and Police Services in both Finance and Corporate roles.  

Shona MacLennan, Ceannard Bhòrd na Gàidhlig said:

We are delighted that Iain will be taking on the role of Director of Development on a permanent basis. He brings vast knowledge and understanding of development which will be invaluable in the coming months, and indeed years, while we continue to work on developing the next National Plan. He has a sound understanding of the requirements and opportunities in development and in communities and we know his skills will be of great benefit.”    



Information Session – Director of Education

Tuesday 27 April, 19.30-20.00, Microsoft Teams

Bòrd na Gàidhlig welcomes professionals with an interest in the Director of Education post to an information session with the Director of Education (present), Education Manager and Ceannard (CEO).

This is an informal opportunity to find out more about the job and the responsibilities of the education team

The session will be streamed live on Teams with the option to post questions in the chat box function.

Register through Eventbrite to take part:

Should you have any questions regarding the session, please send an email to

As this is a Gaelic essential post, the event will be in Gaelic.

Update: Registration for this event has closed.