Chair of public meeting to set up Gaelic Parent Association group stresses the role it can play in furthering Gaelic education

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The Gael who will be chairing the public meeting in Stornoway on Thursday with the purpose of officially setting up ‘Comann nam Pàrant Steòrnabhaigh’ has spoken in support of such a group.

Calum Iain Macleod, former Development Director of Comunn na Gàidhlig, said he was “delighted to support current efforts in establishing a local group of Comann nam Pàrant” and stressed the role it could play in boosting the development of Gaelic education in the area.

“With the numbers enrolling in Gaelic education in Stornoway, as well as other areas of the Western Isles, growing year on year, it is important that parents are provided with support and advice on all aspects of Gaelic education. A local Comann nam Pàrant group would provide this.

“A local group, in partnership with other organisations, would also identify opportunities for family learning and family activities through the medium of Gaelic and work with stakeholders to explore areas of further development of Gaelic education in the Stornoway area.”

The meeting to set up Comann nam Pàrant Steòrnabhaigh will take place in the County Hotel on Thursday (Nov 15th) at 7.30pm.

This group would represent the views of parents and carers of children and young people in Gaelic Medium Education (GME), including pre-school children in the Stornoway area.

The group would take in Stornoway and Laxdale primary schools and the Nicolson Institute secondary – and representation is very much being sought from all three schools to have an input into the Comann nam Pàrant Steòrnabhaigh group.

Organisers of the event warmly invite any parents and carers of GME pupils at these schools, including pre-school children, to come along, find out more about the Comann nam Pàrant organisation and share their views.

The Comann nam Pàrant group would aim to work with stakeholders in a spirit of cooperation and partnership to build on current Gaelic Medium Education provision in the town area.

The national organisation, Comann nam Pàrant Nàiseanta, was established in 1994 to represent the views of parents and carers of young people in Gaelic education. It is a voluntary organisation that supports parents across the whole of Scotland in all aspects relating to GME.

Comann nam Pàrant Nàiseanta has a dedicated officer for parents – Magaidh Wentworth, who will be at the public meeting to explain the role of Comann nam Pàrant groups and how they can support young people in GME and their families.

Magaidh Wentworth, Oifigear Phàrant at Comann nam Pàrant Nàiseanta, said: “I am delighted to see there is interest from parents in a Comann nam Pàrant group and very much look forward to working with parents in Stornoway in support of their children’s education, building on current provision in line with Scottish Government policies on parental involvement and engagement.”

The Education (Scotland) Act names Comann nam Pàrant as a consultee in the process whereby parents may request GME provision from a local authority.

The first parental support movement began in Inverness in 1984 and was instrumental in securing the initial part-funding for GME there.

The developing parents’ movement and the growing demand for GME led to the formation of a network of local Comann nam Pàrant groups throughout Scotland which were established with the support of the Education Officer at Comunn na Gàidhlig.