Deputy First Minister John Swinney to attend new Strategic Leadership Forum to discuss growth and development of Gaelic Education

Deputy First Minister John Swinney, MSP, along with 50 directors of education and other senior education leaders from across Scotland and representatives from Bòrd na Gàidhlig and Education Scotland are taking part in a brand new forum aimed at helping Gaelic grow and flourish.

Mr Swinney is attending the first ever Strategic Leadership Forum for Gaelic Education at the Macdonald Holyrood Hotel today along with the Directors of Education from 19 local authorities involved in delivering Gaelic Medium Education (GME).

The forum aims to help councils develop a clear plan of action to drive forward the teaching of Gaelic through greater collaboration, better understanding of duties and access to funding that helps boost Gaelic education.

The ultimate objective is to give all those involved a clear route to deliver the Gaelic National Plan and the Faster Rate of Progress initiative.

The forum was born out of an initiative led by Bòrd na Gàidhlig. Its Education Team led the way by establishing a working group made up of representatives of Bòrd na Gàidhlig, the Scottish Government and Education Scotland.

The working group reflected on the current needs of GME and the best and clearest way forward, and decided to launch the forum as a way of providing wider support for directors and senior officials.

The Deputy First Minister said: “The Scottish Government’s aim is to see an increase in the number of people speaking, learning, and using Gaelic and today’s Strategic Leadership Forum will make an important contribution to this aim.

“We see Gaelic as vital to the future of Scotland as a nation and to our cultural identity. We want to make sure those who wish to learn and speak the language are supported and given every opportunity to do just that.

“It is vital that local authorities who work hard to promote and support Gaelic and provide the chance for young people to learn Gaelic are given assistance and are able to work in partnership as they continue to develop the language.”

Jim Whannel, Bòrd na Gàidhlig Director of Education, said: “Bòrd na Gàidhlig is committed to supporting partners to deliver for Gaelic. We want the communities who speak Gaelic to continue to grow and thrive.

“This new Strategic Leadership Forum will help all those local authorities also committed to that aim of charting a clear path forward that takes us all towards the goal of more people, both young and old, committing to learning and using the language.”