Bòrd na Gàidhlig is to set up a network of Head Teachers of schools where Gaelic medium education is available, in order to support and strengthen the sector as recommended in the recent HMIe report; “Gaelic Education: Building on the successes, addressing the barriers”.
To facilitate this initiative Bòrd na Gàidhlig will run two seminars for Head Teachers in the coming months supported by Education Scotland, The Scottish Qualification Authority and local authorities. The first of these seminars will be held in Inverness on 6th December and the second in Glasgow early in the New Year.
The seminars will reinforce the importance of Gaelic medium education in creating a sustainable future for the Gaelic language in line with the Gaelic Language Act of 2005 and the aims of the National Gaelic Language Plan. They will also be an opportunity to highlight the successes of, and the attainment of pupils in, Gaelic medium education. Schools leaders will have the opportunity to discuss the support needs of the Gaelic medium education system, and the approaches which could be adopted to expand provision.
Once the network is established, it is anticipated that communication between Head Teachers will be facilitated through GLOW – the national education intranet. In addition to educationalists sharing information using this facility, it will also be possible for pupils to link with other schools and connect with other pupils and teachers throughout the country.
The Scottish Government Minister for Skills and Learning, Dr Alasdair Allan MSP, who launched the draft second National Gaelic Language Plan of the 4th of October will address the Inverness seminar.
Bòrd na Gàidhlig’s Ceannard (Chief Executive), John Angus MacKay said: “All the major national education organisations and local authorities involved in Gaelic medium education worked with us to formulate the education and learning section of the draft National Gaelic Language Plan and we gratefully acknowledge their support. We know, however, that what goes on in schools is largely down to Head Teachers and it is essential to engage directly with them if we are to see an increase in the uptake of Gaelic medium education. This initiative is part of a range of measures aimed at securing equal respect and parity for Gaelic medium education and learning through creating support networks within Gaelic medium education, including arrangements for agreeing a national strategy for curricular and resource development.”