Information

Gaelic language plan 2021-2026 - draft: consultation

Under the Gaelic Language (Scotland) Act 2005, we have a statutory obligation to support Gaelic through the development of a Gaelic Language Plan. This is the third iteration of our plan and outlines its commitments towards Gaelic and the National Gaelic Language Plan.


Chapter IV: Links to the National Performance Network

The National Performance Framework is for the whole of Scotland. Its purpose is to:

  • create a more successful country
  • give opportunities to all people living in Scotland
  • increase the wellbeing of people living in Scotland
  • create sustainable and inclusive growth
  • reduce inequalities and give equal importance to economic, environmental and social progress

The values that underpin and guide our approach, to:

  • treat all our people with kindness, dignity and compassion
  • respect the rule of law
  • act in an open and transparent way

More detail on the Framework can be found in this NPF Booklet.

How the Scottish Government is supporting Gaelic

The Scottish Government is working with a number of policies and projects that have been created to securing a sustainable future for Gaelic against the aims of the National Performance Framework. Some of these follow.

Communities

The Scottish Government has been a supporter of the work of MG ALBA and recognises the support it offers to those learning the language in our communities. We have committed to supporting Speak Gaelic for the next three years.

The Cnoc Soilleir project will bring cultural, economic and educational benefits to the community of South Uist, and beyond. The Scottish Government was pleased to support Phase 1 of this development and we have agreed further funding support to Phase 2.

Police Scotland and the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service have prepared and published a Gaelic Language Plan setting out the actions they intend to take forward in support of Gaelic, which contributes towards ensuring that Gaelic has a sustainable future in Scotland.

We have also identified opportunities within CashBack for Communities to promote the use of Gaelic language with the planned a review of the CashBack for Communities website.

The evaluation report for Phase 4 of the CashBack for Communities will be made available in Gaelic.

The Scottish Government has produced the Democracy Matters – Local Government Review documents in Gaelic to ensure accessibility.

The National Islands Plan recognises the specific needs for Gaelic while delivering improved outcomes for island communities through our policies and by working closely with local authorities and key stakeholders throughout the implementation of the National Islands Plan. Gaelic features prominently throughout the Plan and is directly linked to 11 Commitments across 7 out of its 13 Strategic Objectives. The National Islands Plan says that we will:

  • Ensure that policies aim to retain and attract Gaelic speakers to live and work in Gaelic speaking island communities.
  • Ensure that opportunities to develop the wellbeing of the Gaelic language and increase the number of speakers and users are considered as part of sustainable economic development.
  • Ensure that the impact on Gaelic speaking communities is considered as housing policies are developed.
  • Ensure that health, social care and wellbeing services are available through the medium of Gaelic to support Gaelic speaking island communities.
  • Ensure that Gaelic speakers in island communities are encouraged and supported to represent themselves through the medium of Gaelic.
  • Support all of Scotland's indigenous languages and dialects in ways that are relevant to the communities where these are spoken.
  • Ensure that the commitments in this plan are informed by and aligned with the commitments in the National Gaelic Language Plan, working closely with Bòrd na Gàidhlig.
  • Ensure that the effect on Gaelic language development is considered from the outset in island-specific policies and initiatives and that these link to statutory Gaelic language plans.
  • Work with public authorities and community groups in increasing the use and visibility of Gaelic in Gaelic speaking island communities.
  • Work with relevant authorities to improve Gaelic provision for Gaelic speaking island communities in delivering their functions and services.
  • Continue to support and promote Gaelic medium education at all levels.

Following consultation for the Island Communities Impact Assessments (ICIAs) Guidance, we considered how through the implementation of the Islands (Scotland) Act 2018, ICIAs can help to mitigate against any detrimental impacts on Scotland's indigenous languages and dialects; in ways that are relevant to the island communities where these are spoken.

Culture

  • The Scottish Government published A Culture Strategy for Scotland which recognises that Gaelic culture should be celebrated in and of itself and also provides opportunities for skills development and expression, for access and participation. This strengthens the profile and appeal of the language and the confidence with which it is used. Here is a link to A Gaelic summary of A Culture Strategy for Scotland.
  • Ensuring that the National Partnership for Culture will continue to reflect the importance of Gaelic and traditional arts through its work programme.
  • Ensuring that national cultural bodies continue to implement their commitments, for example; Creative Scotland Gaelic Language Plan 2019-22 and Historic Environment Scotland Gaelic Language Plan 2018-2023.
  • We will consider Gaelic, as appropriate, within our policy developments relating to the creative industries.
  • We will support the work of makers and practitioners in the creative industries that use Gaelic language and culture as a medium of expression.
  • The Scottish Government will monitor the extent to which Gaelic arts have been supported by recent emergency support schemes targeted at culture organisations.
  • The Scottish Government will also look to capitalise on any opportunities to promote Gaelic culture and traditional arts due to Scottish cultural organisations choosing to participate in programmes such as Festival UK 2022 and our Themed Years, including the Year of Scotland's Stories in 2022.
  • The Scottish Government has increased its funding to MG ALBA recognising the importance that the channel has in supporting Gaelic community and learners.
  • The Scottish Government will consider how it can support MG ALBA in its discussions with the UK Government on parity of funding with S4C.
  • The Scottish Government now core funds An Comunn Gàidhealach in recognition of its importance to Gaelic culture and the economic benefits it brings. We will also continue to sponsor the Gaelic Ambassador of the Year award which is presented at the Royal National Mod.
  • The Scottish Government has supported the FilmG awards allowing children in Gaelic and English education to learn the technical and language skills to create original films.

Economy

  • Digital connectivity is particularly important to the economic and social wellbeing of remote and rural communities, and this has been highlighted during the global health pandemic when we've had to find new ways to access and deliver public and commercial services, transport, work, learning and social interaction.
  • Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband is delivered in partnership with Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) who use a range of ways to engage with Gaelic communities through the Gaelic speaking team members and production of bilingual information.
  • We will consider how elements of this approach can be adopted across the SG Digital Connectivity portfolio of broadband and mobile connectivity programmes, including information material used to engage individuals and local communities with programmes which directly impact them and over where they have choices to make, for example about FTTP installation, the Scottish Broadband Voucher Scheme (SBVS) and S4GI across all channels including news releases, social media, advertising etc.
  • Transport Scotland has established a rationale for introducing bilingual direction signs on trunk roads that serve communities where Gaelic is spoken. The policy includes the A9, A82 trunk road from Tarbet to Inverness and those trunk roads leading to the ferry ports at Kennacraig, Oban, Mallaig, Uig and Ullapool.
  • This policy is being implemented on the basis of opportunities created by programmed improvement works such as the A9 Dualling as well as planned maintenance. This provides an affordable way of extending the bilingual signs coverage on the network within available funds. Agreement with The Highland Council and Argyll & Bute Council has been established, to ensure continuity and consistency with the connecting local roads.
  • Transport Scotland has developed specific guidance to ensure that bilingual direction signing is designed in a consistent and clear way, aligned with the guidance contained in the Traffic Signs Manual. This guidance will be published on the Transport Scotland website to assist those designing traffic signs on these routes.

Education

  • The Scottish Government has created Standardised Assessments in Gaelic. We will continue to explore potential opportunities in this area for the inclusion of the language.
  • We will consider how Gaelic could be incorporated in to the Research Strategy for Gaelic.
  • Recognising the importance of Gaelic teachers to our aims for increasing the number of speakers we have incorporated Gaelic in to our Teacher Training website.
  • Bursaries for those interested in teaching in STEM subjects are open to those who wish to teach through the medium of Gaelic.
  • Early years is the an important time for young people's development and we have supported Gaelic Bookbug bags and sessions are now available. These are being incorporated in to the Scottish Books Trust's app.
  • The Scottish Government recognises that a great number of parents need support with their child's learning and Gaelic is included in the Parent Club website.
  • We continue to ensure accessibility to Gaelic education though our support to local authorities.
  • We have, and continue, to support local authorities with the development of new schools and units across Scotland.
  • The Scottish Government core fund e-Sgoil to ensure Gaelic education is accessible to those who want it.
  • The Scottish Government core funds Sabhal Mòr Ostaig and also support other Further and Higher courses, including teacher training.
  • The Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014 is a key part of the Scottish Government's strategy for making Scotland the best place in the world to grow up. The Act established a new legal framework within which public services are to work together in support of children, young people and families in Scotland and will naturally consider the needs of young Gaels within this work.
  • We have developed the Faster Rate of Progress initiative with partners across the Scottish public authority landscape.
  • We have brought forward legislation in support of the Gaelic language. Most recently, the Education (Scotland) Act 2016 and we will continue to promote the provisions to those involved in Gaelic education.
  • The Scottish Government invested in the creation of e-Sgoil recognising the value that it brings for Gaelic and the widening of access to those who wish to learn through the language. This support will continue.
  • The Scottish Government supports the Gaelic Learners in Primary School training. This continues to be a success and is widening to now include early years.
  • The Scottish Government recognises that Gaelic secondary provision needs to meet the expectations of young people and we are working with partners to support this delivery.
  • The Scottish Government created the Gaelic capital fund to support Local Authorities and community projects with construction costs. We will continue to work, giving priority to schools, with bodies that want to expand provision and support for the Gaelic language.

Fair Work and Business

  • The Scottish Government Employability Division will develop Gaelic versions of any new/reprinted materials as part of marketing activity.
  • Social Security Scotland will manage 17 benefits which are being introduced in stages and at the end of this process, it will be delivering benefits for people on low incomes, disabled people, carers and young people entering the workplace, and benefits to help people heat their homes. This gives Social Security Scotland considerable reach and it will consider how it can help raise the profile of the Gaelic language. All factsheets on these benefits have been made available in Gaelic.
  • The Agency's logo is bilingual and this is used on all marketing materials. Consideration will be given to Gaelic signage and advertising.
  • Social Security Scotland has a duty to promote its benefits, and Information on all current, live benefits is already proactively provided in the Gaelic language and the Agency's interpretation, translation and transcription services already include the Gaelic language so people are able to talk to us on the phone and have letters and notifications etc. translated. The Agency will also consider how it can reach Gaelic users through its various stakeholder forums, groups and networks.
  • In addition, Social Security Scotland will also engage with Bòrd na Gàidhlig to prepare a Gaelic Language Plan. This will help build upon the work already undertaken to support those who wish to use the Gaelic language.

International

  • Our Directorate for International Trade and Investment will look at opportunities to raise the profile of Gaelic as part of overseas Ministerial visits and large scale Trade and Investment events.
  • The Scottish Government created a Gaelic learning bursary with the Office of Gaelic Affairs in Nova Scotia and we will continue to support this while looking for opportunities to promote Gaelic through our Canada Hub.
  • The Scottish Government supported the UNESCO Year of Indigenous Languages and will consider how we can support the forthcoming Decade of Indigenous Languages.
  • The Scottish Government continues to be an active member of British Irish Council where all our languages are considered and supported.
  • Engaging with Arctic and Nordic partners through the implementation of the Scottish Government's Arctic policy framework to encourage policy and knowledge exchange around the promotion and protection of indigenous languages, exploring opportunities to develop joint projects that contribute to UNESCO's Decade of Indigenous Languages (2022-2032).

Publication

Publishing and publicising the Plan

This is the third iteration of the Scottish Government's Gaelic Language Plan, and will remain in force for a period of five years from the date it is approved by Bòrd na Gàidhlig or until a new Plan has been put in place. Commitments in this plan will enhance and clarify the commitments in the previous iteration, in force from 20XX to 20XX.

Publicising the Plan the Scottish Government Gaelic Language Plan will be published bilingually on the Scottish Government website.

In addition, we shall:

  • widely promote the Plan including sharing on social media
  • make the Plan known to employees via the Scottish Government Intranet and update employees with new policies and initiatives developed under the Plan
  • make copies of the Plan available on request
  • notify relevant stakeholders with information on how to access the Plan

Resourcing the Plan

The Scottish Government does not expect any additional costs as a result of these commitments. However, if costs do arise it will make appropriate provision for the resourcing of this Plan, in respect of those services delivered directly by us. Our NDPBs and Agencies, agents and contractors will be responsible for arranging to meet the costs of implementing their own Gaelic Language Plans.

Monitoring the Plan

An annual monitoring report on the implementation of this Plan will be sent to Bòrd na Gàidhlig. In monitoring implementation, we will focus on the following areas in particular: Scottish Government policies and how they impact on Gaelic development; the implementation of specific core commitments in Chapter II; the contribution being made towards implementation of the National Gaelic Language Plan as set out in Chapter III; details of materials published in Gaelic whether in whole or in summary form; the nature and number of comments received regarding the delivery of the measures contained in the Plan.

Contact

Email: sgglp@gov.scot

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