Over the last two years the numbers of those qualifying as Gaelic teachers has increased due to the ever increasing opportunities available to those wishing to pursue Gaelic education as a career.
The current academic year saw 35 Gaelic teaching probationers entering the system at both primary and secondary levels, which is an increase on the 30 in 2014. It is also expected that the numbers will once again rise this coming year with a potential intake of 37.
Welcoming the news of growth, Bòrd na Gàidhlig Interim CEO, Bruce Roberston said: “The recruitment of a confident, well trained teacher workforce is fundamental to the expansion of Gaelic education and to the rich opportunities it can provide our young people. It is the key dimension of our vision for Gaelic and vital for continued educational expansion across Scotland.”
In partnership with the Scottish Government, Local Authorities, GTCS and Teacher Education Establishments, the Bòrd supports initiatives to increase the range of courses available to those who wish to enter Gaelic teaching, or who wish to transfer to teaching through the medium of Gaelic from the mainstream.
As well as actively promoting and marketing the opportunities in Gaelic teaching and the courses available to students, Bòrd na Gàidhlig provides funding to students on those courses.
In the financial year of 2015/16 33 students were awarded with funding of £61,000. The Education Grants scheme offers support of up to £1,000, dependent on the course being undertaken and the year of study, as well as supporting the cost of course fees if required.
There is also top-up funding available to those leaving full-time employment to undertake a Gaelic teaching course.