John’s Question on the Routine Use of Gaelic

Below is a transcript of the Oral Question John asked in the Scottish Parliament 2nd May 2013.

John Finnie (Highlands and Islands) (Ind): To ask the Scottish Government what plans it has to increase the routine use of Gaelic across its services. (S4O-02073)

The Minister for Learning, Science and Scotland’s Languages (Dr Alasdair Allan): In its Gaelic language plan, the Scottish Government has committed to making use of Gaelic in a variety of day-to-day operations. We will shortly strengthen and renew the plan. Through that, we will identify how we can strengthen our support for the language. Our draft plan will go out for public consultation.

John Finnie: When will the Scottish Government publish new written guidelines on Gaelic-medium education, as recommended in the Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Education 2011 report “Gaelic Education: Building on the successes, addressing the barriers”?

Dr Allan: The Government is in the early stages of preparing such guidance, which will be presented. I suspect that the member will agree with the reasons for it, which are to ensure that we maintain the quality and standards—and, indeed, the definition—of Gaelic-medium education, which I know is a subject that he is interested in. We want to ensure that total immersion in the language means what it says and that there are the fluency and the capacity to go on to further levels of study.