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Gaelic-medium primary planned for Edinburgh

Edinburgh city Council is proposing to create a dedicated Gaelic- medium primary to replace its current provision of a unit and nursery.

Tollcross Primary in the Fountainbridge area of the city has been offering Gaelic classes since 1982 and has a Gaelic-medium nursery. However, the primary is now full and does not have the capacity to meet current demand for Gaelic education in the area.

The council has therefore launched a public consultation on the future of Gaelic education in the city to gauge whether to withdraw the Gaelic unit at Tollcross and set up a dedicated primary school with nursery facilities at the former site of Bonnington Primary.

An alternative being considered is to increase Gaelic-medium education capacity on the Tollcross site by extending the building and relocating the nursery to a new, larger facility in the grounds of the existing school.

The council's education leader, Marilyne MacLaren, said: "Increased popularity does bring increased financial pressure and whichever option we take, it's going to cost money, and that will have an impact on other city schools. I would therefore urge anyone with an interest in education in Edinburgh to take the opportunity to contribute to this important process."

The move mirrors Glasgow's experience, where the Glasgow Gaelic School for children aged 3-18 has grown its roll from 311 in 2007 to 540 in 2010

A new Gaelic facility is now planned in Glendale Primary on the city's south side, with a capacity of around 120. A timescale for the opening of the school, which was awarded money via the Scottish Futures Trust, has yet to be confirmed.

For more information, go to: www.edinburgh.gov.ukprimarygaelic

chris.small@tes.co.uk.

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