This autumn has seen the largest intake of students in one year to initial Gaelic teacher education in Scotland.
The recruitment of 17 primary and eight secondary school student teachers is seen as a major step forward towards meeting the aspirations of The National Gaelic Language Plan which looks to increase significantly the intake of children into Gaelic-medium education.
To help meet the growing demand for Gaelic teachers, Bòrd na Gàidhlig’s teacher recruitment officer has worked with schools and universities throughout the country, to encourage students to consider career opportunities in Gaelic-medium education. Bòrd na Gàidhlig has awarded grants to all 25 teaching students to assist them in their studies.
The Bòrd is also to fund a week-long Gaelic language immersion course for teachers with some Gaelic who are currently teaching through the medium of English. The week long course, which will be attended by 10 teachers from throughout Scotland, will be delivered from the 21st of November in the Bòrd na Gàidhlig offices in Inverness.
This course is an initial step in assisting teachers to acquire the necessary skills and confidence to teach through the medium of Gaelic. This initiative builds on a similar course which was held in June of this year which was declared a success by participants. The next step being the option to enrol on the year long Streap course run by Sabhal Mòr Ostaig in association with Aberdeen University.
The minister for Gaelic, Alasdair Allan said: “The Scottish Government is committed to increased opportunities to learn Gaelic across the country. But we cannot open up such opportunities in schools without recruiting teachers. Further efforts by Bòrd na Gàidhlig to highlight the opportunities and support available to teachers who take on GME, as well as equipping them with the skills and confidence to do so, are very welcome.”