Gaelic Language

| Care in the Community | Sustainable Communities |  A Clean Environment |
| A Planned Culture of Enterprise and Growth | A Skilled and Confident Highlands |
| Arts, Heritage, Culture and Sport | Gaelic Language | Improved Transport and Connectivity |
| Children and Young People | Corporate Objectives for The Highland Council |

Council Commitment to Gaelic

Children at the Gaelic schoolGaelic features prominently in a four-year action plan drawn up by the Council to promote the language and culture. Driven forward by a Gaelic Committee, the plan  sets ambitious but realistic targets.  Working with Bòrd na Gàidhlig and other partners, we will promote the growth of Gaelic education and provide political leadership for the promotion and support of Gaelic. Gaelic has iconic significance to the Highlands and is an important aspect of Scotland’s ethnic identity. The rapid growth of traditional Gaelic music and song both enhances the cultural life of the Highlands and attracts many visitors to the Highlands.

We are among the first public authorities to produce a Gaelic Language Plan, which takes into account Bòrd na Gàidhlig’s National Plan and its aims for “a healthy, vibrant language increasingly used, valued and respected in a modern, multi-cultural and multi-lingual Scotland”. Our Plan sets out to enable the public to access services through Gaelic; raise awareness of Gaelic; encourage parents to use Gaelic in the home; increase the range of opportunities to use Gaelic in the community and provide Gaelic education.

Bunsgoil Ghàidhlig Inbhir Nis

Bun-sgoil Ghàidhlig Inbhir Nis, Scotland’s first designated purpose-built all Gaelic school, opened in August 2007.  The school, with seven classrooms and associated communal space, has been designed for a maximum roll of 150 pupils.  Forty six children aged three and four have already been enrolled for the nursery which incorporates a wrap-around childcare facility.

The school has a multi-purpose hall with retractable seating, a sports pitch and parental resource room as well as accommodation for an Education, Culture and Sport Service Gaelic Development Officer. Bun-sgoil Ghàidhlig Inbhir Nis is expected to become a focus for Gaelic events and organisations in the Inverness community.

Latha Mòr na Gaidhlig - The Big Day for Gaelic

More than 500 Gaelic Medium primary pupils from all over Scotland gathered in Aviemore Highland Resort on Thursday 1 November for a Big Day for Gaelic activity to celebrate Highland 2007, the year that Scotland celebrates Highland culture.

Latha Mòr na Gaidhlig celebrated the development of Gaelic medium education across Scotland over the past 22 years since the first Gaelic Medium Classes were established in Glasgow and Inverness.

The Council has set out the following goals:

  • Putting in place a Gaelic Language Plan based on the principle of equal respect for Gaelic and English, and review the plan and progress in implementing it annually.
  • Continuing to promote Gaelic medium education in primary schools and expand Gaelic medium education in the secondary sector. 
  • Developing Gaelic Medium Education in pre-school provision where there is parental support for it.
  • Enhancing the Gaelic team, led by a new post of Gaelic Development Manager, to co-ordinate the development of Gaelic. 
  • Working with the Scottish Government and Higher Education institutions to address the issue of supply of Gaelic medium teachers.
  • Continuing to implement the Council’s Memorandum of Understanding with Nova Scotia to ensure collaboration on a range of mutually beneficial cultural projects.
  • Working with Sabhal Mòr Ostaig – Scotland’s Gaelic College – to develop partnership projects which will support the Council’s objectives for Gaelic.
How Do We Perform?
In 2006-7, there were over 1,300 Gaelic language learners in secondary schools and over 1,280 pupils learning in the medium of Gaelic in primary and secondary schools.

Each year, the Council invests £4.4 million on promoting Gaelic. This includes Government funding to cover 75% of teaching costs and £125,000 in annual grant towards pre-school teaching costs