Scottish Parliament TVTBh Pàrlamaid na h-Alba

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Members' Business: Gaelic-medium Education in the Western Isles

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Members' Business: Gaelic-medium Education in the Western Isles

February 18, 2020 17:05


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That the Parliament welcomes Comhairle nan Eilean Siar’s decision to enrol pupils entering P1 into Gaelic-medium education (GME) as the default choice; recognises that parents can still choose to put their children into English-medium education (EME); further recognises that this decision was taken as a majority of parents were expected to enrol their children into GME in 2020; notes that the percentage of children entering GME in Na h-Eileanan an Iar has steadily increased over the last decade; further notes that increasing the level of GME enrolment to 55% was an action in the council’s statutory Gaelic Language Plan; commends Comhairle nan Eilean Siar for becoming the first council in Scotland to take this policy decision; further commends the council for taking what it sees as this progressive step to consolidate the national language in its heartland communities; understands that there is an overwhelming consensus among academics and researchers in support of the cognitive benefits of bilingual education, and reiterates the findings of the 2010 study by the University of Edinburgh, which it understands outlined evidence that GME pupils, on a whole, outperform their EME peers in English reading by P5.