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HMIE publishes review of effectiveness of current Gaelic education arrangements

HMIE has today published Gaelic Education: Building on the successes, addressing the barriers, a review of the role played by Gaelic education in supporting the National Plan in Gaelic, which aims to secure a sustainable future for the language.  The report is based on evidence from inspections in Gaelic education that have taken place over the period 2006 to 2011 and from interviews with key players involved in the development of Gaelic education.  It sets out some key factors that have contributed to successful, high quality Gaelic Education.  To achieve continuous improvement, the report has identified factors that appear to constrain Gaelic provision.  When these are overcome, HMIE say that they are optimistic that Scotland has the potential to become an international model of best practice in the promotion of minority language communities.

HMIE undertook this review with the aim of:

  • identifying the successes and constraints in the development of quality Gaelic Education;
  • recommending how constraints can be overcome so that momentum is gathered to meet the targets of the National Plan for Gaelic; and
  • working with Gaelic establishments, partners and agencies to achieve improvements.

The report covers a number of key areas and within each, recommendations are made for further development.  These are presented in the form of action points to map the way ahead in the following areas: 

  • Gaelic medium education in the early years and primary.
  • Gaelic medium education in secondary schools.
  • Gaelic Learners in primary and secondary schools.
  • Gaelic Education: Leaders and partners.

An important aspect of the report is to foster partnership working between all those involved in the promotion of Gaelic Education to give direction and secure continued success for Gaelic.

Commenting on the report, Dr Bill Maxwell, HM Senior Chief Inspector, says,’˜This report gives direction to moving Gaelic forward.  In drawing this report together, our main purpose is to increase the impact of Gaelic Education’™.

He added,’˜This report represents our first overview of progress and issues nationally, since our 2005 publication Improving Achievement in Gaelic.  It shows that there is a particular need to focus on immersion at pre-school, primary and secondary to help secure improved outcomes for young people learning through the medium of Gaelic.  A number of points for action have also emerged for leaders and partners to consider in establishing how best to build on the successes of Gaelic Education and address constraints’™. 

Bill Maxwell concludes that’˜Resolving issues related to Gaelic, and realising the ambitions of the National Plan for Gaelic, will require sustained commitment and strong partnership working across schools, local authorities and national bodies.  I am pleased to confirm, through the publication of this report our commitment, to playing our part in that partnership to maximum effect’™.

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