A constituent asked me some questions about Gaelic Medium Schools. Here are my answers…
1) What are your views on Gaelic Medium Education in Edinburgh
Firstly, I’ll start by stepping back a bit and expanding the question: I think education, in general, is one of the most important things society does, because it largely determines the qualities of the next generation of Scots, and therefore determines the future of our society.
Regarding Gaelic Medium Education, I think it should be provided, if there is significant demand for it. Clearly there is significant demand for it.
I understand that the Gaelic Medium Unit at Tollcross Primary is full up. So to accommodate the excess demand, either a separate Gaelic Medium Unit could be set up in a different primary school, or a Gaelic Medium School could be set up, like Sgoil Ghàidhlig Ghlaschu. This latter option would be my preferred one.
2) How would you represent my views (if elected) on Gaelic Medium Education to the council officers, the council education committee, and to the full council.
I’d talk to all my constituents and represent their views to the Council. My own view, as I’ve already said, is that a Gaelic Medium School would be the best way forward.
In the longer term I think that parents and others should be allowed to set up their own schools with the school being funded by the state based on a per-child capitation allowance. Under this system, parents wanting a Gaelic Medium School wouldn’t have to go cap-in-hand to the council and persuade them to do it, they could just do it. And this would be true of other innovative types of school that people wanted to set up.