Assurance sought over Portree School

Dave Thompson, SNP MSP for Skye, Lochaber and Badenoch, has expressed his concern over the length of time being taken to develop a new Gaelic-medium education school on Portree.

The School has been in planning for a number of years, but the latest council timetable suggests that work will not begin until 2015-16 at the earliest.

Commenting on this, Dave said: “I warmly welcome the Ministers positive statement, and I hope that Highland Council can work with the Scottish Government to ensure that the project is delivered as soon as possible.”

Alasdair Allan, the Minister for Learning, Science and Scotland’s Languages, responded that the Scottish Government was prepared to make a significant investment in the project, and that the Government will seek a firm assurance that the development will go ahead and be delivered as soon as possible.

The Minister stated that when the current Administration came into government, there were two Gaelic schools in Scotland, and by the end of this session of Parliament, he expects there to be eight such schools either established or planned.

Adding to this, Dave said: “Parents in Portree have clearly expressed their desire to see the new school in operation as soon as possible, and are understandably disappointed with the delays that have beset the project.

“It is great that in recent years the demand for GME is increasing throughout Scotland, but we must ensure that we are able to meet this demand and continue to support the Gaelic language, and essential part of Scotland’s culture.”