Glasgow set for third Gaelic school in Government language drive

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John Swinney has announced that a third Gaelic school is to open in Glasgow as par of the Scottish Government’s drive to increase the number of speakers of the language.

The new school will provide Gaelic medium education (GME) and is expected to open in the Cartvale area of the city.

Education Secretary John Swinney. Picture: PA

Education Secretary John Swinney. Picture: PA

Nearly 900 pupils are enrolled in Glasgow’s two existing GME schools at Glendale and Berkeley Street – both of which are now at capacity.

The plans for the new school were announced during a Holyrood debate on the National Gaelic Language Plan 2018-23.

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Mr Swinney, the Deputy First Minister and Education Secretary, said: “We have an opportunity to build on the success of recent years and to ensure a faster rate of progress in the expansion of Gaelic education across Scotland. “Glasgow City Council has a remarkable record with Gaelic education and the establishment of a third standalone school will provide capacity to meet growing demand from parents. Following the opening of Portree Gaelic School last week – the sixth in Scotland – we will continue to support and encourage the growth of Gaelic education.”

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Chris Cunningham, City Convener for Education, Skills & Early Years welcomed the grant funding and said:

“The expansion of Gaelic Medium Education across Glasgow is very exciting and more families than ever before are able to access Gaelic for their children and at all stages through nursery to secondary school.

“The development of the former Cartvale School is yet another example of our continued commitment to GME and we welcome the additional grant which will go towards the upgrades and renovations for the opening of the new school building in August 2019.”

Funding for the school will come from the Gaelic Capital Fund, which was set up in 2008 in recognition of the key role of education in increasing the number of Gaelic speakers.

The number of people recorded as being able to speak, read, write and/or understand Gaelic in the 2011 census was 87,000. Of these, the total number of people who speak Gaelic was 58,000.

Although use of the language has been in decline, the most recent data shows an increase of 10 per cent in the number of Gaelic speakers below the age of 15, and a 15 per cent increase in the 16 to 29 age group.