Bòrd na Gàidhlig, the statutory body responsible for the promotion and development of Gaelic, including advising Scottish Government Ministers, welcomed the recognition in the newly published HMIE Report on Gaelic Education that there are significant strengths in Gaelic Education, and Gaelic-medium in particular, for schools, leaders and partners to build on.
The Bòrd also welcomes the report’s conclusions that, building on these strengths, Scotland has the potential to become an international model of best practice in the promotion of minority language communities across Europe.
The report sets out some key factors that have contributed to the most successful high quality, Gaelic education encountered by Inspectors. The report has also identified factors that appear to constrain such provision and makes recommendations that are designed to address these constraints.
The key issues identified are being addressed in the National Gaelic Education Strategy, which will be central to the second National Plan for Gaelic a draft of which will be discussed by Bòrd na Gàidhlig at a meeting in Stornoway today (22 June 2011).
The draft National Gaelic Education Strategy has been developed by Bòrd na Gàidhlig in partnership with national Bodies, Local Authorities, and other key stakeholders responsible for supporting and delivering Gaelic Education.
The Bòrd’s Head of Education and Learning, Mary MacMillan, said:
“Independent research has already demonstrated the benefits of bilingualism associated with Gaelic Education. This report, Gaelic Education: Building on the successes, addressing the barriers helpfully both highlights the successes and opportunities relating to Gaelic Education and the barriers that we have to overcome to ensure continuous improvement. This is very much in line with the ethos and principles of the Curriculum for Excellence. We now look forward to working closely with our partners to build on the successes and overcome barriers. This will entail supporting for example, pre-school provision, parents, school leaders, and continuing professional development. Where it is necessary, with the support of our partners, we will give advice to Ministers on further guidelines for Gaelic-medium education to ensure that the system works effectively for everyone.”