Growth and development of Gaelic Medium Education discussed at national event

Friday 01 March 2019

Robert Quinn, Head of Qualifications – English, Modern Languages and Business

Bòrd na Gàidhlig, in conjunction with SQA, Education Scotland, and the Scottish Government, has invited teachers, lecturers, and representatives from local authorities from across Scotland to a special event to develop a new action plan for Gaelic Medium Education (GME) in Scotland.

Representatives from further, and higher education providers, and Scotland's six Gaelic schools were also present. The ebvent provided an opportunity to take part in in-depth discussions on shaping the future curriculum for GME in S4-S6 and also address the growth in Gaelic learning. 

Delegates attended the format of workshops and discussion panels – opened by Jim Whannel, chair of Bòrd na Gàidhlig’s Learning Committee – giving practitioners the chance to learn first-hand from schools developing their senior phase curriculum.

The aim of the day was to develop an action plan laying out the next steps for developing the curriculum. It will also focus on career pathways for staff delivering in GME. 

Jim Whannel said: “I am delighted to open this special event focusing on the way forward for GME Secondary Education. I am particularly pleased that an encouraging aspect of the event is the gathering together of key practitioners to shape an effective strategy, which will deliver the next phase of development. Engaging teachers and local authority leadership teams in developing the new strategy will be a key factor in ensuring success. 

Robert Quinn, SQA's Head of Qualifications – English, Modern Languages and Business, said: “It is of vital importance that students who have experienced Gaelic-medium education throughout their broad general education in primary, and in the first three years of secondary school, are able to have full access to Gaelic-medium education in the Senior Phase – S4 through to S6. Without this continuum, the consolidation of their language skills will not be complete. SQA fully supports the development of a coherent national strategy to ensure that this happens.”

Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Secretary for Education John Swinney has led the setting up of the Faster Rate of Progress Initiative, which draws together national organisations around a set of themes supporting the Gaelic language and we look forward with excitement to this latest initiative focusing on the GME secondary sector. Gaelic medium education is of growing interest to parents and young people across Scotland and we look forward to widening the appeal of GME secondary, ensuring it is an integral part of the successes we are seeing across Scottish Education.”

Gillian Campbell-Thow, Chair of Gaelic Local Authorities’ Network (GLAN) said: “It is particularly appropriate that this event, which aims to increase subject choice, is taking place at the same time as the Education and Skills Committee of the Scottish Parliament is taking evidence on subject choices in the curriculum. Today’s discussions will be very useful for local authorities, particularly with the the inclusion of Developing the Young Workforce (DYW) agenda as part of the day.”

Jane Renton, Assistant Director, Education Scotland said: “We are pleased to be involved in Friday’s conference. We look forward to discussions on how the senior phase of Gaelic Medium Education can be enhanced to ensure young people benefit from stimulating learning experiences across all aspects of the curriculum and attain as highly as possible.”