Statement – 22.06.2020

Since the start of the COVID-19 crisis, Bòrd na Gàidhlig has worked with partners across the Gaelic community, public authorities and Scottish Government to ensure that Gaelic continues to be used by as many people as possible at home at this difficult and unprecedented time.

Bòrd na Gàidhlig acted quickly and flexibly to ensure that our funding to organisations continued, resulting in new and creative ways of thinking and delivery during lockdown. We are fully satisfied that the work these organisations are delivering in local and national initiatives is effective in supporting pupils in Gaelic Medium Education (GME) under these difficult circumstances.

Bòrd na Gàidhlig has also recently launched a new COVID-19 funding scheme with the aim of helping organisations recover and for the development of new resources and services to support the use of Gaelic whilst restrictions are in place.

Bòrd na Gàidhlig have pushed for Scottish Government to provide advice on GME and encouraged other Gaelic organisations to add to that campaign. This has resulted in an Advice Note being prepared and is scheduled to be published imminently. It will inform the work of the local authorities (LAs) who are responsible for the delivery of education.

The Bòrd Education Team has worked directly with Education Scotland who are assessing currently Local Authority School Return planning, and is engaged in developing the Initial Impact Assessment process which will support Local Authorities in successfully re-opening the school system.

All parties acknowledge that the GME on-line support for young people has been impressive in terms of the quality and range of materials and the speed of the response. Many of the bodies responsible for this are funded by Bòrd na Gàidhlig and the Bòrd have been active in supporting this response and ensuring that excellent support is in place for teachers, parents and young people in GME.

Bòrd na Gàidhlig and the organisations we fund stand ready to support local authorities as they formalise their plans for blended learning and we are already engaged in these discussions at a local and national level.
At the same time, the Bòrd na Gàidhlig team has continued, in these unprecedented circumstances, to undertake our statutory duties as outlined in the Gaelic Language (Scotland) Act 2005.