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Grand plan for boosting Gaelic is announced

The Scottish government's second National Gaelic Language Plan, published yesterday by Bord na Gaidhlig, has prioritised pre-school and school education alongside community action to increase the number of Gaelic speakers in Scotland over the next five years.

Initial teacher education grants of up to pound;1,000 towards living costs in the year before graduation have been available for the past two years to boost recruitment into Gaelic, and these are likely to continue under the new plan.

A working group on the recruitment and retention of Gaelic teachers is currently exploring offering sabbaticals to teachers to improve their Gaelic skills or learn Gaelic with a view to transferring to GME.

The target is to double the number of children entering P1 Gaelic-medium education over the next five years, and to increase the number learning Gaelic through the Gaelic Language in Primary Schools initiative and in secondary. Both will require a substantial increase in the number of Gaelic teachers.

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