Demand for Gaelic school places in Glasgow ‘outstrips’ ability to provide it
Glasgow cannot provide more Gaelic education, despite increasing demand.
A report being delivered to councillors on Thursday highlights that current demand for Gaelic Medium Education (GME) ‘outstrips our ability to provide places’.
GME is an option which allows children to go through the Scottish education system up to the end of P3 using Gaelic, at which point some English is introduced.
While more parents in Glasgow want their children to have GME, the council lacks the space in secondary provision and the staff to offer more spaces than it is committed to doing so.
The report explains: “We have further concerns that should our GME provision extend beyond that which we have already planned to provide, this may well carry a risk of provision which is GME in name only, further exacerbating our challenges around staffing.”
It notes that a lack of teachers fluent in Gaelic means that pupils do not learn through the language at secondary level.
It’s current aim is to recruit more secondary teachers who are fluent in Gaelic, allowing kids to go through the entire curriculum in the language, before offering more spaces.
However, recruiting teachers has been an issue.
The report states that the council had a ‘very poor response’ from teachers when it offered leadership development training, with the costs covered, after being unable to recruit an acting head teacher for a maternity cover post.
A new Gaelic school, which will provide GME, is being built in north west Glasgow, which will allow it to increase intake from 140 places per year to 180.
In the mean time, however, some parents are opting to send their children to independent schools or schools in other local authority areas to get Gaelic education.