Friday, 9 August 2013

Educashun Scotland and their daft draft plan

"I would encourage your readers to read our draft plan, available on the Education Scotland website"
- Dr Bill Maxwell, chief executive Education Scotland, after his quango's opaquely-worded draft Gaelic language plan triggered last week's spectacular "compulsory Gaelic in every school" stushie.

Rest assured that Gilleasbuig being Gilleasbuig did just that, and here he presents some selected lowlights, for your delectation:

"The Gaelic Language Plan is part of our Corporate Plan and helps exemplify how Gaelic becomes embedded in our role, our priorities and how we intend for Gaelic Education to be part of our positive impact on Scottish education." (td 2)
Gilleasbuig: Er ... run that past me again? 

Sounds like a plan?

"The creation of our first Gaelic Language Plan resulted in a pause for reflection on our many successes for Gaelic Education. " (td2)
(Gilleasbuig pauses for a nanosecond to reflect on their many successes for Gaelic education). 

"We are evidencing that this report [Gaelic Education; Building on the Successes, Addressing the Barriers] is having impact, when used for self-evaluation, in assisting those concerned with improving Gaelic Education. " (td2 a-rithist!)
Gilleasbuig: Using a noun as a verb is neither big nor clever, Education Scotland. 

"The report, Language Learning in Scotland: A 1+2 Approach has potential for increasing the numbers benefitting from both Gaelic Medium and Language Education.  We have started to contextualise this report to Gaelic Education to assist education authorities in maximising this approach to Gaelic.  Our partnership work on ‘Scottish Studies’ and ‘Studying Scotland opens up opportunities for learning Gaelic and learning about Gaelic to all schools in Scotland. " (td3) 
Gilleasbuig: Cue media feeding frenzy! So this is how it all started ... mind you, can anyone explain what it means?

"We currently have 1.4 Development Officers for Gaelic Education who are seconded or have a fixed-term contract. "
Gilleasbuig: !!!? 

"We have experienced difficulties recruiting Development Officers for Gaelic Education.  We will now review whether we should increase the number of part-time secondments we offer whereby teachers could teach alongside doing development work.  To encourage empathy to and understanding of Gaelic, we endeavour to encourage all of our staff to be supportive of Gaelic and, in some cases, apply their remits to achieving positive outcomes for Gaelic Education.  There has been some Gaelic learning in Education Scotland.  This has largely consisted of supporting personal study, the inclusion of Gaelic in learning at work days and some provision for learners.  We have one member of staff who is fluent in Gaelic.  The 1.4 temporary Development Officers are also fluent ..." (td28)  
Gilleasbuig: Yes, that was "one member of staff". And ... what do 1.4 temporary Development Officers look like?

"This plan has been prepared under section 3 of the Gaelic Language (Scotland) Act 2005.
 (The final version will be made available in Gaelic and English.) "

All together now: No! Education Scotland, nooooooo ...

"Education Scotland would welcome your feedback on our draft Gaelic Language Plan. Are you content with the commitments we have made? Do you have any other suggestions to make?"

Cha chan Gilleasbuig càil, mus can e cus!



  1. They could use clearer English never mind Gaelic. Having only read these snippets it seems pretty thin. As a learner I can say that I was never offered any opportunity to learn Gaelic as a kid. I hope it's different now. Anyhow my wee yin starts at Glasgow Gaelic Primary this week.