Scotlands first Gaelic secondary school opened this week as part of a new stand-alone Gaelic education campus in Glasgow which is to provide nursery, primary and secondary education for Scotlands largest city. The new school will enable pupils to study through Gaelic from the ages of three to 18.

As is typical of the national situation, Gaelic-medium secondary provision had previously been provided within a unit in an English-medium school where very few subjects were available in Gaelic. The new school campus will enable the full curriculum to be taught through Gaelic.

The development of an all-Gaelic secondary follows the success of primary education in Glasgow. Scotlands first all-Gaelic primary school opened in the citys west end in 1999 and soon proved so popular that it became clear that bigger premises would be necessary. The primary department of the new campus which also opened today has just over 200 pupils, including 50 children starting in primary one. The secondary department is beginning with pupils in first and second year only but will expand to cover all secondary year groups over the next few years as these children move up through the school.

Through providing a full range of subjects at secondary level, the school is optimistic that all or most of those educated in Gaelic at primary level in Glasgow will take advantage of Gaelic secondary provision. The small range of subjects available through the medium of Gaelic in most secondary units nationally means that many parents choose to send their children to a local English-only secondary school instead of continuing with Gaelic-medium education. It is also hoped that the new school campus will lead to an expansion of the numbers of pupils being educated through the medium of Gaelic and will enable pupils to reach and retain a higher level of fluency in Gaelic.