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TOP MARKS: Highland Council praised by education committee across the board for Gaelic Medium Education (GME) - after it was noted the authority provides for 61 per cent of all secondary school learners in Scotland

By Louise Glen

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Pupils in Dingwall P1 Gaelic class.
Pupils in Dingwall P1 Gaelic class.

A Highland Council committee has praised the local authority for its leadership in Gaelic Medium Education (GME).

A report to the council's education committee discussed the local authorities commitment to the language, and steps that should be taken in the future.

A spokeswoman for Highland Council said: "A report on the current provision, and future development, of Gaelic Medium and Gaelic Education across Highland was discussed by members at yesterday’s education committee meeting.

"In the introduction to the report it was noted that The Highland Council is a leader in terms of the Gaelic Learner curriculum. Nationally, 61 per cent of Gaelic learners in secondary schools are in Highland Schools and this number has grown faster than the national rate in the last three years.

"Attainment has likewise improved at a fast rate across the board over the same period.

"There are 20 GME primary schools located in The Highland Council area, accounting for one third of all GME primary school provisions in Scotland. Within this primary GME provision, The Highland Council has three standalone GME schools and two Gaelic schools with English Medium provision.

"Additionally, Highland has 20 secondary schools in total which are currently providing Gàidhlig for fluent and/or Gaelic learners.

An online map of locations in Highland offering GME is available on the council’s website by clicking here.

Education chairman Cllr John Finlayson said: “The report today on Gaelic Medium and Gaelic Education has given a robust overview of the current provision available to Gaelic learners in Highland.

"The Highland Council has the largest number of school provisions that offer Gaelic and Gaelic Medium education in Scotland within one authority.

"We have a strong focus on GME as the council has made a commitment to increase Gaelic usage, increase the number of Gaelic speakers, enhance the profile of Gaelic and to generate a positive image of the language.”

She added: "The executive chief officers, education strategic leads and the Gaelic development manager are currently undertaking a further review of the next steps to form an in-depth action plan and strategic vision for the wider considerations for Gaelic Education growth and sustainability across Highland."

The council has promoted GME in schools by producing a short video which provides information on GME for parents interested in the benefits of Gaelic education. The video is available to watch on the council’s website at www.highland.gov.uk/gaelic.

Gaelic chairman Cllr Calum Munro said: “It was important that this report on GME and GLE education was brought to Highland Council’s education committee and it gives a clear indication of current developments and successes in GME and GLE in Highland and places that in a national context. The report also outlines Highland Council’s strategic commitment to and positional vision for the future of GME”.

READ: Highland pupils asked NOT to go to Drummond School in Inverness as head teacher says school will be closed until Monday due to 'significant staff shortage'

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