City of Edinburgh launches plan to promote Gaelic over the next 5 years


The City of Edinburgh Council have recently published their draft Gaelic Language Plan for the next 5 years which is open for consultation until 15 December. This is the second Gaelic Language Plan produced by the Council and will build on the success of the previous one which saw the expansion of early Gaelic Medium Education (GME), a new GME primary school Taobh na Pàirce and further development of Gaelic Learning Education at both primary and secondary schools.

It is part of the Council’s commitment to work in partnership with Gaelic communities, organisations who deliver Gaelic services, Bòrd na Gàidhlig and the Scottish Government to support the language and culture.

The plan outlines six strategic commitments to Gaelic

1. Home and Early Years

  • Develop improved information on a GME educational pathway 0-18 for families who choose GME (carried over from the last plan).
  • Improve family learning in the early years.
Continue to deliver the legislative requirements for GME early years.
Others TBC as a result of consultation findings on GME and GLE pre-birth, and 0-18 options.

2. Education

  • Continue to improve the quality and breadth of GLE across the primary and secondary school estate, increasing provision by 3%.
  • Improve the quality and breadth of pre-school provision (including 1140 hours p.a. for GME nursery children), primary school provision, and secondary school provision.
  • Continue to deliver the legislative requirements for GME early years.
Investigate the possibility of a national strategy for workforce planning and for admission criteria to GME.
  • Careers and transitions options will be strengthened in high school, in partnership with FE and HE providers.
  • Ensure continuous improvement of the on-site provision of Gaelic-immersion wraparound care to maximise 
opportunities for language learning.
  • Others TBC as a result of consultation findings on GME and GLE pre-birth, and 0-18 options.

3. Community

  • Improve the quality of the Council’s engagement, capacity building, and empowerment activities with Gaelic community groups (carried over from the last plan).
  • Better use of social media to communicate and engage with Gaelic communities.
  • Create more opportunities to bring different elements of the Gaelic community together.
  • Support co-production approaches in the delivery, and monitoring performance of, the plan.
  • Support Sradagan to expand provision for children and young people in GME.
  • Develop a Gaelic Youth Manifesto, that involves Gaelic speaking children and young people, to indicate what 
they want to see in the city to promote Gaelic.

4. Workplace

  • Improve Gaelic road and other signage in the Council and the city at iconic sites (carried over from the last plan).
  • Undertake a Council staff audit (using the Bòrd na Gàidhlig audit template) to assess the number and level of 
Gaelic speakers, and staff interest in supporting the delivery of the plan (carried over from the last plan).
  • Improve support and learning for Gaelic speaking staff at the Council.
  • Review and improve the Gaelic pages on the Council’s website (carried over from the last plan).
  • Offer an introduction to history of Gaelic in the city as part of the organisation wide employee induction package.

5. Culture and Arts and Heritage

  • Review the impact of the ‘Gaelic Arts Strategy’ and undertake engagement with Gaelic arts groups to improve support to Gaelic arts (carried over from the last plan).

6. Economy

  • Research the scale and impact of the Gaelic economy in Edinburgh.

Councillor Lewis Ritchie, Gaelic Champion for the City of Edinburgh Council, said: “Gaelic is an integral part of our shared heritage and national identity and is a unique and essential feature of Scotland’s rich cultural tapestry.

“Gaelic belongs to everyone in Scotland, not least the citizens of Edinburgh and as the capital city, we have a special responsibility to ensure that the language is protected, supported and nurtured.

“As the City of Edinburgh Council’s Gaelic Champion, I am incredibly proud of the commitment that the Council continues to demonstrate towards Gaelic language and culture.

A fully copy of the plan can be downloaded here.

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