Comhairle nan Eilean Siar have successfully applied for £500k from the Government’s Gaelic School Capital Fund for the expansion of Gaelic Medium Education throughout the Western Isles.
The money which will help to develop all areas of Gaelic Medium Education will also help to ensure that the Comhairle meets the targets set out in the Education & Children’s Services 2011-14 Gaelic Action Plan.
The main targets were to have Gaelic medium and pre-school education available in every school catchment are, and that 55% of P1 enrolments be in the Gaelic Medium.
Three of the five catchment areas show strong levels of enrolment with two schools meeting a target of 100% and four schools meeting a target of 70%.
On this basis it is proposed that schools with 50% or more Gaelic-medium education pupils could work towards designation as Gaelic schools in which English-medium education is also available.
To strengthen this tidal shift in education it is planned to upgrade Information Technology in order to facilitate learning between Gaelic schools to promote choice, increase language experience of students, improved choice in secondary level and provide enhanced peer support for staff.
Catriona Stewart, Chair of Education & Children’s Services said: “We are delighted to have received this financial support which will help the continuation and development of Gaelic Medium Education across the Western Isles.”