It gives me great pleasure to present this report to the Minister for Education and Young People, Peter Peacock, on behalf of the members of the Group. On their behalf I would also like to thank the Minister for his ongoing support for Gaelic education and for inviting this Group to prepare recommendations on the subject of Gaelic teacher education and supply.
It is clear that if Gaelic medium education is to develop and expand within the Scottish education system there is a need for more teachers. The recruitment and supply of Gaelic medium education teachers is clearly critical to the success of Gaelic Medium Education. We believe it is also vital to the survival of Gaelic as a living language.
The key recommendations of this report need to be implemented as soon as possible. If they are, we are confident that Gaelic medium education can be expanded at primary and developed into the secondary sector in a way that has not happened in the past. We can already see the danger that without new teachers coming into the system Gaelic medium education might reach a comfortable plateau. We must not allow that to happen.
I want to thank all the members of the Group who contributed so freely of their knowledge and time. I believe the strength of this report is that it represents the views of a group of educationists with both an intimate knowledge of, and commitment to, the Gaelic education sector. In particular I would like to thank Douglas Ansdell and Eoghan Stiubhart, our colleagues from the Scottish Executive, who have ensured that our Report has been delivered in good time. The Group met for the first time in March and the fact that our Report is now completed reflects not just the work of the Group but also the urgency with which we view the situation.
I hope that as a result of this report, we will see significant improvements in Gaelic teacher supply and that this will, in turn, allow Gaelic medium education to develop successfully across Scotland.
Matthew M MacIver
Registrar/Chief Executive GTCS