Gaelic Medium Event in Perth

Growth and development of Gaelic Education to be discussed at Special Gaelic Medium Education (GME) Event in Perth

Around 45 educators from across Scotland are set to take part in a special day-long event on Friday, 1st March 2019 to develop a new action plan for Gaelic education in Scotland.

Bòrd na Gàidhlig, in conjunction with Education Scotland, Scottish Government, and Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA), has invited education representatives and teaching staff from local authorities to the Battleby Conference Centre in Perth.

Also present will be further education and higher education providers, and representatives from the six Gaelic schools in Scotland, based in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Inverness, Lochaber and Portree. The day will provide an opportunity to take part in in-depth discussions on shaping the future curriculum for GME in S4-S6 and also address the growth in Gaelic learning.

The day – which will be opened by Jim Whannel, chair of Bòrd na Gàidhlig’s Learning Committee – will take the format of workshops and discussion panels, among which will be the chance to learn first-hand from schools developing their senior phase curriculum.

Ultimately the aim of the event will be to develop an action plan laying out the next steps for developing the curriculum. It will also focus on career pathways for staff involved in Gaelic medium education.

Jim Whannel said: “I am delighted to open this special event focusing on the way forward for GME Secondary Education. I am particularly pleased that an encouraging aspect of the event is the gathering together of key practitioners to shape an effective strategy, which will deliver the next phase of development. Engaging teachers and local authority leadership teams in developing the new strategy will be a key factor in ensuring success.

Minister for Gaelic, John Swinney has led the setting up of the Faster Rate of Progress Initiative, which draws together national organisations around a set of themes supporting the Gaelic language and we look forward with excitement to this latest initiative focusing on the GME secondary sector. Gaelic medium education is of growing interest to parents and young people across Scotland and we look forward to widening the appeal of GME secondary, ensuring it is an integral part of the successes we are seeing across Scottish Education.”

Gillian Campbell-Thow, Chair of Gaelic Local Authorities’ Network (GLAN) said: “It is particularly appropriate that this event, which aims to increase subject choice, is taking place at the same time as the Education and Skills Committee of the Scottish Parliament is taking evidence on subject choices in the curriculum. Today’s discussions will be very useful for local authorities, particularly with the inclusion of Developing the Young Workforce (DYW) agenda as part of the day.”

Jane Renton, Assistant Director, Education Scotland said: “We are pleased to be involved in Friday’s conference. We look forward to discussions on how the senior phase of Gaelic Medium Education can be enhanced to ensure young people benefit from stimulating learning experiences across all aspects of the curriculum and attain as highly as possible.”

Robert Quinn, Head of Qualifications – English, Modern Languages and Business at the Scottish Qualifications Authority, said: “It is of vital importance that students who have experienced Gaelic-medium education throughout their broad general education in primary, and in the first three years of secondary school, are able to have full access to Gaelic-medium education in the Senior Phase – S4 through to S6. Without this continuum, the consolidation of their language skills will not be complete. SQA fully supports the development of a coherent national strategy to ensure that this happens.”