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Highland Council to explore 3-18 Gaelic campus for Inverness

By Nicola Sinclair, Local Democracy Reporter

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The Gaelic campus could take pupils from aged 3 to 18.
The Gaelic campus could take pupils from aged 3 to 18.

Highland Council is seeking bids for a feasibility study to deliver Gaelic language education in Inverness.

The council’s Gaelic language plan has a vision to embed Gaelic into its education improvement planning.

Now, the Gaelic committee has taken the first steps towards improving Gaelic education in the city.

The council is inviting quotes for the production of a feasibility study. This feasibility study will scope out options to expand Gaelic provision and develop a 3-18 Gaelic campus in Inverness.

Interested organisations have until April 6 to pitch for the work.

The feasibility study will look at the current Gaelic education model in the city, and look at fresh approaches including a 3-18 campus.

It will measure parents’ demand for Gaelic education, and come up with some initial costs for setting up the campus.

Highland Council has done feasibility studies for an Inverness Gaelic campus in the past, and the new feasibility study will look at ‘lessons learned’ from this.

It will also look at how Gaelic education is delivered in other regions, including an ‘immersive’ Gaelic campus in Glasgow.

Highland Council says it has worked closely with the University of the Highlands and Islands, Bord na Gaidhlig and the Scottish Government on its Inverness Gaelic plans.

However, delivering Gaelic education in Inverness will bring some challenges. Highland Council says it will require both revenue and capital funding. It also requires a high quality and diverse curriculum suitable for pre-school right through to senior secondary level. It also relies on having a reliable supply of Gaelic-medium teachers.

Once the feasibility study is complete, it will go out to members of the Gaelic committee and education committee to take forward.

Whilst this pitch is solely for Inverness, the council says it will also help to develop a fuller understanding of how Gaelic medium education can be expanded across other Highland communities.

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