Submission to Informal Review for GME High School

In October 2020, City of Edinburgh Council (CEC) published pre-consultation information on the proposals for future Gaelic secondary provision in Edinburgh.

This report summarises the activities undertaken by Comann nam Pàrant (Dùn Èideann & Lodainn) during this informal consultation and the outcomes of those activities.

Survey and meeting

A Phàrantan / Luchd-cùraim còire
 
As you know, City of Edinburgh Council is currently running an informal consultation on a proposed site for a new GME High School.
 
As part of our work to support parents of GME children, Comann nam Pàrant is offering two additional opportunities for you to provide feedback on the process and proposals. 
 
The first opportunity is a short survey which will take only a few minutes complete. It is an opportunity for you to share your views on how the current proposals meet the priorities and criteria set by parents and carers on what makes a successful GME school. This survey is now open and will close at midnight on Saturday 5 December 2020.
https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/TLCXDLQ  
 
Please take the time to complete it. It is really important that we have your feedback to ensure the views of those in the GME community are fully represented. The more responses we have, the better we can provide robust feedback to the council.
 
Secondly, we would like to invite you to attend an online meeting of Comann nam Pàrant on 3 December 2020 at 7.30pm. This will be a Zoom meeting and we will be asking for feedback on the public meetings and what questions we may still have for the council. This is an opportunity to feedback constructively, ask questions and shape our response to the council.
 
Please click the link here to register in advance for the meeting.
https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZIldu6rpz0qE9yQKX7sMU96SMecsKG85UJg 
 
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting. Please do not share the link with anyone else as each code is individual. 
 
You are welcome to participate in both of these activities. If you can only do one then please complete the survey. Comann nam Pàrant will submit the results of the survey and feedback from the meeting to the council as part of this consultation process.
   
If you have any questions for Comann nam Pàrant, please email: cnpduneideann@gmail.com
 
Le gach deagh dhùrachd
 
Comann nam Pàrant
 

Co-chomhairleachadh na Comhairle air na molaidhean aca airson Àrd-sgoil Ghàidhlig ùr

(English below)

A chàirdean

Tha sinn a’ sgrìobhadh thugaibh a dh’iarraidh oirbh pàirt a ghabhail ann an co-chomhairleachadh na Comhairle air na molaidhean aca airson Àrd-sgoil Ghàidhlig ùr a thig, bho 2024/2025, an àite an t-solair aig Àrd-sgoil Sheumais Ghilleasbuig. Seo Àrd-sgoil Ghàidhlig airson Dùn Èideann agus Lodainn, le dùil gun tèid dàrna bun-sgoil Ghàidhlig a thogail ann an ceann a deas a’ bhaile, gus freagairt air an àrdachadh san iarrtas airson foghlam tron Ghàidhlig (FtG).

Tha sinn a’ moladh gu làidir dhuibh, mar chuideigin aig a bheil ùidh ann am FtG anns a’ bhaile, pàirt a ghabhail sa phròiseas seo agus ar cuideachadh gus dèanamh cinnteach gu bheil beachdan dhaoine air an riochdachadh. Faodaidh sibh seo a dhèanamh le bhith: 

– A’ frithealadh aon de na coinneamhan poblach bhiortail a thèid a chumail air Diciadain 25 Samhain 2020 agus Diluain 30 Samhain 2020 airson tuilleadh deasbaid air na roghainnean agus gus riochdairean Comhairle Baile Dhùn Èideann a chluinntinn a’ freagairt cheistean a thog pàrantan, luchd-cùraim agus daoine eile. Airson aon de na coinneamhan poblach a fhrithealadh, cuiribh fios gu Committee.Services@edinburgh.gov.uk gus dearbhadh dè an latha a b’ fheàrr leibh. Tha sinn a’ moladh gun glèidh sibh àite gu math tràth oir is dòcha nach bi mòran àiteachan ann.

– A’ cur bheachdan no cheistean sam bith a bu mhath leibh a bhith air an togail gu Laura.Millar2@edinburgh.gov.uk. Faodaidh sibh an cur air thoiseach air na coinneamhan NO ro 11 Dùbhlachd 2020 airson an toirt a-steach don aithisg measaidh. Ma tha sibh airson ’s gun tèid na ceistean is na beachdan agaibh a thogail aig a’ choinneimh, tha sinn a’ moladh dhuibh post-d a chur ro na coinneamhan air 25 Samhain no 30 Samhain. Mura h-urrainn dhuibh a dhol gu aon de na coinneamhan, feuch an cuir sibh a-steach ur ceistean no ur beachdan co-dhiù – tha sinn airson ‘s gun tèid ur guth a chluinntinn. 

– A’ sgaoileadh fios – ma tha ùidh aig cuideigin as aithne dhuibh ann a bhith a’ leasachadh FtG ann an Dùn Èideann, feuch an roinn sibh am fiosrachadh seo leotha. Faodaidh iad a bhith nam pàrant no neach-cùraim le leanabh a’ frithealadh Cròileagan, no nam pàrant no neach-cùraim aig a bheil ùidh ann am FtG ach aig a bheil pàiste ann am Beurla ro-sgoil / cùram-chloinne, no nam bal eile den choimhearsnachd Ghàidhlig ann an Dùn Èideann. 

Gheibh sibh fiosrachadh ro-cho-chomhairleachaidh mu na molaidhean an seo: https://consultationhub.edinburgh.gov.uk/ce/gme-edinburgh/ 

Airson tuilleadh fiosrachaidh agus cùl-fhiosrachaidh, tadhalaibh air https://cnpdune mhothablog.wordpress.com/documents/ 

Thoiribh fa-near gu bheil a’ cho-chomhairle neo-fhoirmeil seo mar phàirt de phròiseas nas fhaide, a bheir a-steach co-chomhairleachadh reachdail le cothrom eile beachdan a chur a-steach mus ruigear co-dhùnadh deireannach. Ach, tha sinn a’ moladh dhuibh pàirt a ghabhail aig an ìre thràth seo gus dèanamh cinnteach gu bheil na beachdan agaibh air an làn nochdadh, leis nach bi atharrachaidhean susbainteach cho dualtach a bhith air an dèanamh aig an ath ìre. 

Leis gach deagh dhùrachd

Comann nam Pàrant Dhùn Èideann

Council’s consultation on their proposals for a new Gaelic Secondary school

A chàirdean,

We are getting in touch to ask you to take part in the Council’s consultation on their proposals for a new Gaelic Secondary school which, from 2024/2025, will replace the provision at James Gillespie’s High School. This will be the Gaelic High School for Edinburgh and Lothians with a second feeder primary school being built in the south of the city, to support the increase in demand for GME.

We would strongly urge you, as someone with an interest in the future of Gaelic Medium Education in the city, to participate in the process and help us ensure people’s views are represented. You can do this by:

– Attending virtual public meetings held Wednesday 25 November 2020 and Monday 30 November 2020 to discuss the options further and to hear City of Edinburgh Council respond to questions and concerns raised by parents, carers and others. To attend either of the public meetings, please contact Committee.Services@edinburgh.gov.uk to confirm which date you would prefer. We would recommend booking early as spaces will likely be limited

– Sending any comments or questions that you would like to be addressed to Laura.Millar2@edinburgh.gov.uk – you can either send these ahead of the meetings OR by 11 December 2020 for inclusion in the outcome report. If you would like your questions and comments raised at the meeting, we advise you to email prior to the meetings on 25 November or 30 November. If you cannot attend either of the meetings, please do send in your questions or comments anyway – we want your voice to be heard.

– Spreading the word – if someone you know has an interest in the development of Gaelic Medium Education in Edinburgh, please share this information with them. They may be a parent or carer with a child attending Cròileagan, or parent or carer who is interested in GME but whose child is in English Medium pre school / childcare, or other members of the Gaelic community in Edinburgh.

You can find pre-consultation information on the proposals here: https://consultationhub.edinburgh.gov.uk/ce/gme-edinburgh/

For further information and background, visit https://cnpduneideannblog.wordpress.com/documents/

Please note: This informal consultation is part of a longer process, which will include a statutory consultation with a further opportunity to submit views before a final decision is taken. However, we would encourage you to participate at this early stage to ensure your views are fully reflected, as substantive changes will be less likely to be made at the next stage.

Le gach deagh dhùrachd
Comann nam Pàrant Dùn Èideann

Update on proposals for a new Gaelic Secondary School

A phàrantan còire,

(English below)

Mar a bhiodh dùil anns an t-suidheachadh dhuilich anns a bheil sinn an-dràsta, chan eil cùisean a’ gluasad air adhart cho luath ‘s a bha sinn an dòchas a thaobh nam molaidhean airson Àrd-sgoil Gàidhlig. Ach a d ’aindeoin sin, is urrainn dhuinn ùrachadh a thoirt dhuibh mu rud no dhà.

Coinneamh le Buidheann Obrach Bheatha Ghoirid

Nas anmoiche na bhathas an dùil, choinnich a’ Bhuidheann Obrach Bheatha Ghoirid, a tha air a dèanamh suas le riochdairean bhon Comhairle, luchd-obrach sgoile, Riaghaltas na h-Alba, Bòrd na Gàidhlig, agus CNPDE, aig astar an t-seachdain a chaidh. Cha robh ann ach ciad choinneamh gus a h-uile duine a thoirt a-steach don deasbad agus an t-slighe air adhart aontachadh. Bha sinn deimhinne às gum bu chòir am fòcas a chumail air na prìomh thèamannan a dh’èirich às a’ chonaltradh le pàrantan a rinneadh roimhe. ’S iad sin: cion fiosrachadh mionaideach air na molaidhean airson àrainn cho-roinnte agus air a suidheachadh, agus air na roghainnean eile a chaidh a mheasadh agus na co-dhùnaidhean a chaidh a ruighinn.

Dhaingnich a’ chomhairle gu bheil na tagraidhean maoineachaidh a dh’fheumte a dhèanamh sa Chèitean gus a dhol air adhart le plana Liberton a-nis air an cur dheth chun an t-Sultain. Tha iad cuideachd air dearbhadh gu bheil iad a’ rannsachadh dhòighean air co-chomhairleachadh reachdail sam bith a dhèanamh gu h-eileagtroinigeach.

Tha a’ Bhuidheann Obrach Bheatha Ghoirid an dùil coinneachadh a-rithist anns na seachdainean a tha romhainn agus bheir sinn ùrachadh eile dhuibh an dèidh sin.

Rannsachadh air Co-shuidheachadh

Tha an aithisg dheireannach air “cleachdaidhean as fheàrr ann am bogadh cànain agus ceist sgoil cho-shuidhichte” le Bernadette O’Rourke, Wilson McLeod agus Joe Simpson a choimisean sinn le taic bho Bhòrd na Gàidhlig a-nis ri faotainn. Tha sinn a’ moladh gun leugh a h-uile pàrant i.

Coinneamh Choitcheann Bhliadhnail

Mar a bhiodh dùil chaidh ar Coinneamh Choitcheann Bhliadhnail, a tha mar as trice a’ tachairt aig an àm seo den bhliadhna, a chur dheth. Thèid a cur air dòigh aon uair ’s gu bheil na sgoiltean fosgailte agus cruinneachaidhean mòra ceadaichte a-rithist.

Tha sinn an dòchas gu bheil sibh a’ cumail sàbhailte agus fallain anns an t-suidheachadh dhuilich seo

English version

Unsurprisingly given current event, things have not proceeded as quickly as hoped with regards to the proposals for the Gaelic Secondary School. Nevertheless, there are still a couple of updates we can give.

Meeting with the Short Life Working Group

Although later than planned, the SLWG composed of representatives from the council, school staff, scottish government, Bòrd na Gàidhlig, and CNPDE managed to meet remotely last week. This was very much a first meeting designed to introduce everyone to the discussion and agree the way forward. We were very keen to keep it focussed on addressing the key themes to emerge from previous discussion from parents about the proposals, namely: concerns regarding co-location; concerns over location; and concerns that alternatives have not been properly assessed and presented.

The council confirmed that funding applications that were needing to be made in May in order to proceed with the Liberton proposal have now been postponed until September. They have also confirmed that they are investigating ways of consulting any statutory consultation through electronic means.

The SLWG is due to meet again in the next few weeks and we will give another update following that.

Research on Co-location

The final report of “Best Practice in Language Immersion and the Issue of Co-located School” by Bernadette O’Rourke, Wilson McLeod and Joe Simpson that we commissioned with the support of Bòrd na Gàidhlig is now available and we would encourage all parents to take time to read it.

AGM

Inevitably our AGM which is normally held at this time of year has had to be postponed. It will be rearranged once schools reopen and large gatherings are permitted again.

We hope you staying safe and well in these difficult circumstances.

Le deagh dhùrachd

Committee

Comann nam Pàrant

Update on activity since the 4th Feb meeting

English below

An dèidh coinneamh na ballrachd a chùm sinn air 4 Gearran gus beachdachadh air molaidhean na Comhairle, chuairtich sinn aithisg a dheasaich a’ chomataidh a bha stèidhichte air na còmhraidhean sin.

An dèidh dhuinn an aithisg sin a chur air adhart gu Comhairle Dhùn Èideann air Dihaoine 7 Gearran, fhuair sinn cuireadh coinneachadh ris na Comhairlichean Ian Perry agus Alison Dickie bho Chomataidh an Fhoghlaim far an do chuir sinn an cèill, aon uair eile, draghan nam pàrant agus am beachd coitcheann nach bu chòir don mholadh a dhol air adhart gu co-chomhairleachadh reachdail.

Gus slighe air adhart a lorg, tha iad air aontachadh buidheann-obrach gheàrr-ùine a stèidheachadh gus sùil a thoirt air draghan nam pàrant agus measadh ceart a dhèanamh air na roghainnean eile a dh’fhaodte taisbeanadh do phàrantan.

Tha sinn an dòchas gun tòisich a’ bhuidheann seo, a bhios a’ toirt a-steach daoine le eòlas air FtG (thathas an dùil) a bharrachd air riochdairean bho phàrantan agus a’ Chomhairle, a’ coinneachadh a dh’aithghearr agus gum bu chòir dhaibh a bhith comasach air aithris air ais taobh a-staigh dà mhìos. Bidh sinn a’ coimhead air dòighean anns am faod pàrantan am beachdan a thoirt a-steach don phròiseas ach cumaibh oirbh a’ cur ur cuid bheachdan chun na comataidh le post-d – cnpduneideann@gmail.com.

English version

Following the members’ meeting we held on 4th February to discuss the council’s proposals we circulated a statement prepared by the committee based on those discussions.

Having forwarded that statement to Edinburgh Council on Friday 7th February, we were invited to meet with Councillors Ian Perry and Alison Dickie of the Education Committee where we reiterated parents’ concerns and the overall view that that the proposal should not go forward to statutory consultation.

In order to find a way forward, they have agreed to the setting up of a short-life working group to look at parents’ concerns and provide a proper assessment of the alternative options which can then be presented again to parents.

We hope that this group, which should include people with expertise in GME as well as representatives from parents and the Council, will begin meeting shortly and that it should be able to report back within two months. We will be looking at ways for parents to feed their views into the process but please continue to email your views to the committee – cnpduneideann@gmail.com.

Comann nam pàrant meeting 4/02/20

We will be holding a meeting for parents and carers of children in GME on Tuesday 4th February 7-9pm at Taobh na Pàirce to discuss Edinburgh Council’s proposals for a Gaelic Secondary School in Edinburgh.

You can find a report of the meeting where the council presented their proposals to parents in the documents section of our blog at https://cnpduneideannblog.wordpress.com/documents/ along with the Council’s presentation and Seonaidh Charity’s presentation.
With the support of Bòrd na Gàidhlig we commissioned research into schools delivering education through the medium of a minority language to help inform the discussion. The interim report is also available on our blog.

Edinburgh Council were asked to assess options against criteria agreed by parents last year. That document is also on the blog.

This is an important meeting and we hope as many of you as possible can attend and have your say on a vital issue for our children and GME in general.

We hope to see you there.

Report from open meeting with Edinburgh Council on 26th August 2019

(English below)

Air Diluain 26 Lùnastal thug Comhairle Dhùn Èideann aithris do phàrantan agus luchd-cùraim cloinne ann an FTG mun adhartas a thaobh leasachadh FTG ann an Dùn Èideann, a’ toirt a-steach fios às ùr mu na h-àiteachan a chaidh a mholadh airson àrd-sgoil. Rinneadh obair mhòr aig ìre bun-sgoile agus àrd-sgoile gus taic a thoirt do leasachadh luchd-obrach agus an clàr-obrach. Bu chòir na leanas a chomharrachadh gu sònraichte:

  • Tha a-nis 11 tidsear aig Àrd-sgoil Sheumais Ghilleasbuig (JGHS) a tha comasach air cuspairean a lìbhrigeadh sa Ghàidhlig
  • Tha aon den luchd-obrach aig JGHS air trèanadh Taic a Bharrachd airson Ionnsachadh fhaighinn, agus uime sin a’ lìonadh beàrn mòr.
  • Bha fòcas làidir air eadar-ghluasad oileanaich C7 an-uiridh gu JGHS agus dh’obraich na tidsearan bhon àrd-sgoil leis na C7s againn an-uiridh gus seo a chuideachadh.
  • Thathar an dùil dà latha de thrèanadh airson luchd-obrach FTG ann an Dùn Èideann san t-Sultain agus obraichidh iad air dearbh-aithne agus feallsanachd FTG a thogail thar gach sgoil.

Tha e na chùis misneachd an obair seo fhaicinn, a tha riatanach gus bunait a stèidheachadh airson àrd-sgoil Ghàidhlig nuair a ghluaiseas i bho JGHS. Ach, bha barrachd ùidh aig mòran de na pàrantan anns an adhartas ann a bhith a’ lorg àite airson na sgoile ùire agus bha an t-adhartas a thaobh seo na bhriseadh dùil.

Gus dèiligeadh ri mar a tha rollaichean ag èirigh aig JGHS tha sia seòmraichean a bharrachd air an toirt a-steach. Thathas ag ùrachadh Darroch (togalach leis a’ Chomhairle faisg air Gilmore Place a chaidh a chleachdadh roimhe mar leas-thogalach airson JGHS) agus thèid a chleachdadh mar leas-phàipear ro 2021. Thèid Darroch a chleachdadh airson cuspairean neo-theicnigeach, le teagasg cuspairean saidheans fhathast ann am prìomh thogalach JGHS.

Dhaingnich Comhairle Dhùn Èideann a-rithist gu robh iad a’ coimhead air dà làrach airson sgoil leatha fhèin, aig Craigmillar agus aig Granton, agus a dhà airson campas co-roinnte a bhiodh a’ toirt a-steach dà sgoil air aon làrach, le cuid de na goireasan air an co-roinn. Chan eil suidheachaidhean an dà sgoile mu dheireadh fhathast air an leigeil mu sgaoil gu poballach fhathast agus cha bhi gus am bi barrachd soilleireachd ann am biodh iad nan roghainnean freagarrach. Gus àrd-sgoil Ghàidhlig ùr a bhith deiseil ron Lùnastal 2024, feumar am pròiseas co-chomhairleachaidh a thoirt gu buil ron fhoghar 2020. Tha seo a’ ciallachadh gum feumar co-chomhairleachadh foirmeil a thòiseachadh tràth ann an 2020 a bheir a-steach an t-àite as fheàrr le Comhairle Dhùn Èideann. Feumaidh sinn a bhith ag obair le Comhairle Dhùn Èideann gus buaidh gach àite air a’ choimhearsnachd againn a thuigsinn agus a tha a rèir ar rùintean airson foghlam ar cloinne roimhe sin.

Na bu tràithe air a’ bhliadhna chuir Chomann nam Pàrant Dhùn Èideann (CnPDE) pàipear gu Comhairle Dhùn Èideann a’ mìneachadh prìomhachasan nam pàrant airson àite ùr. Tha am pàipear seo a’ cur an cèill miann nam pàrant airson foghlam bogaidh àrd-sgoile airson an cuid cloinne a leigeadh leotha Gàidhlig a bhruidhinn gu misneachail nuair a bhios iad nan inbhich. Tha e cuideachd seo a’ cur an cèill dòchasan a thaobh com-pàirteachadh coimhearsnachd, farsaingeachd cothroman air gnìomhachdan taobh a-muigh na sgoile, togalach a bheir taic do eòlas foghlaim ann an àite a tha so-ruigsinneach bho air feadh a’ bhaile, le ceanglaichean còmhdhail math.

Leis an fhiosrachadh a thaisbean Comhairle Dhùn Èideann aig a’ choinneimh cha b’ urrainn do phàrantan tuigsinn ciamar a bhiodh seo ag obaair agus cha robh iad soilleir mu dè cho practaigeach ’s a bhiodh na campasan co-roinnte – mar eisimpleir dè na goireasan a bhiodh air an roinn agus dè bha roinneadh làrach a’ ciallachadh airson àireamhan. Tha an roghainn air sgoil air leth mòran nas soilleire agus follaiseach ciamar a bhiodh e a’ freagairt air prìomhachasan phàrantan, ach thuirt Comhairle Dhùn Èideann gum biodh e na bu dhaoire agus gun toireadh e na b’ fhaide agus nach biodh e cho dualtach tighinn gu buil. Air sgàth na dìth soilleireachd seo thàinig grunn cheistean dùbhlanach bho phàrantan agus mì-thoileachas leis an dìth adhartais a dh’ionnsaigh fuasgladh.

Às deidh na coinneimh seo, tha CnPDE air innse do Chomhairle Dhùn Èideann gu bheil feum againn air fiosrachadh nas soilleire gus a dhol an sàs sa phròiseas seo gu cuideachail.

Dealbh soilleir, sgrìobhte air mar a bhiodh co-àrainn ag obair, a tha a’ toirt a-steach fiosrachadh practaigeach a thaobh a bhith a’ roinn àrainn, a’ toirt a-steach mìneachadh air na goireasan a bhiodh air an roinn agus dè bhiodh air leth.

Lèirmheas air gach àite mu choinneimh nam prìomh raointean a bheireadh cothrom beachdachaidh do theaghlaichean FTG agus Comhairle Dhùn Èideann.

English version

On Monday 26th August Edinburgh Council reported back to parents and carers of children in GME on the progress of the development of GME in Edinburgh, including an update on proposed locations for a secondary school.

Across both primary and secondary considerable work has gone into supporting the development of staff and the syllabus. Of particular note are:

  • There are now 11 teachers at James Gillespie’s High School (JGHS) who can deliver subjects in Gaelic
  • One of these members of staff at JGHS has received Additional Support for Learning training, thus plugging a significant gap.
  • There has been a strong focus on the transition of last year’s C7 students into JGHS and the teachers from the secondary worked with our C7s last year to help this.
  • Two days of training for all GME staff in Edinburgh is planned in September and will work on building the identity and ethos of GME across both schools

This work is encouraging to see and necessary to lay the foundation for a Gaelic secondary school when it moves from JGHS. However, of more interest to many of the parents there was the progress on finding a location for the new school and the progress on this was disappointing.

To cope with rising rolls at JGHS six extra classroom are being established. Darroch (a Council owned building on Gilmore Place that has previously been used as an annex for JGHS) is being refurbished and will be used as an annex by 2021. Darroch will be used for non technical subjects, with the teaching of science subjects remaining in the main JGHS building. 

Edinburgh Council confirmed again that they were looking at two sites for a stand alone school, at Craigmillar and at Granton, and two for a shared campus which would involve two schools on one site, with some shared facilities. The locations of the latter two are not yet in the public domain and won’t be until there’s greater clarity over whether they would be potentially acceptable options.

For a new Gaelic secondary school to be up and running by August 2024, the consultation process needs to be completed by autumn 2020. This means that formal consultation will need to begin in early 2020 which will include Edinburgh Council’s preferred location. We will need to work with Edinburgh Council to understand the implications of each location on our community and which is in line with our ambitions for our children’s education in advance of that.

Earlier in the year Comann nam Pàrant Dun Eideann (CnPDE) had submitted to Edinburgh Council a paper outlining parents’ priorities for a new location. This paper covers parents’ desire for an immersive secondary education for their children that would enable them to be confident adult speakers of Gaelic. It also covers hopes for community involvement, rich extra curricular opportunities, a building that can support an educational experience in a location that can support a city wide catchment with good transport links.

With the information Edinburgh Council presented at the meeting parents were unable to understand how this would progress and were unclear about the practicalities of the joint campus options – for example what facilities would be shared and what did sharing a site mean for numbers. A standalone option is much clearer and obvious how it would fit parents’ priorities, but Edinburgh Council intimated that it would be more expensive and potentially take longer and be less likely. This lack of clarity led to several testing questions from parents and expressions of dissatisfaction with the lack of progress towards a solution.

Following this meeting, CnPDE has expressed to Edinburgh Council that we need clearer information to engage constructively in this process. 

  • A clear, written outline of how a joint campus would work that includes information on the practicalities of sharing a campus, including what facilities would be shared and what would be separate.
  • A review of each location against key areas for consideration for GME families and Edinburgh Council.

To inform this process CnPDE are seeking funding from Bòrd na Gàidhlig for research into best practice internationally to help evaluate potential locations for secondary GME.

CNPDE and Bun-sgoil Taobh na Pairce Parent Council representatives will meet with Edinburgh Council this week at the Gaelic Implementation Group to progress all of this. We will keep you informed of any progress on this issue.

 

Update from GIG, secondary working group meeting and date for meeting with Edinburgh Council

A chàirdean

  1. Summary of June Gaelic Implementation Group (GIG)
  2. Summary of meeting with Donald Macdonald and Gaelic teaching staff at James Gillespie’s High School (JGHS)
  3. Parents’ meeting with EdinburghCouncil regarding a new GME secondary school- Monday 26th

As we get ready for the summer holidays we wanted to give a brief summary of some of our recent activity as well as give you advance notice of an important meeting early next term.

  1. A full report on the most recent GIG is available on our website. Our working groups have compiled a number of important questions which have been shared with Edinburgh Council. They are considering them and we expect a detailed update from them at the parents’ meeting next term (see point 3).

    At the GIG meeting we were advised that Taobh na Pàirce expects to have a full complement of teaching staff by August and, while not all staff will be fluent Gaelic speakers, the aim will continue to be to provide P1-P3 with as close to full immersion as is possible.

    We were also advised that work is ongoing to ensure Early Years can continue to cope with growing demand for GME, while also incorporating the increase of Early Years provision from 600 hours to 1140 hours per child from August 2020. Options include offering longer sessions for Early Years, including longer opening times for sgoil-àraich, as well as the possibility of keeping Early Years open during school holidays.  Anne MacPhail confirmed that there would be no reduction in places available as a result of changes to Early Years provision.

 

  1. The Secondary Working Group had a productive meeting with Donald Macdonald, Head Teacher of JGHS, and key members of their GME teaching staff. A full report is available.

    Some of the main points included:

  • There will be at least 10 staff at JGHS delivering subjects in Gaelic from August
  • For S1, Geography, Modern Studies, History, RME, Art, PE, Media/Drama will be delivered through Gaelic (in addition to Gaelic itself)
  • There will also be a Science class for S1 that will involve some discussion and teaching in Gaelic.
  • Some additional subjects are expected to be offered to S2 in August 2019 once timetabling has been finalised.
  • Considerable work has gone into ensuring the transition from P7 to S1 has been improved.
  • The Darroch building should be available following refurbishment from 2021. The school hopes that there will be a significant GME focus in the Darroch to create a Gaelic space, though the building will also be used for English-medium classes.
  1. Edinburgh Council is inviting all GME families (or parents and carers ) to an open meeting at 7pm  on Monday 26thAugust  at Bun-sgoil Taobh na Pàirce. Edinburgh Council will present information potential  locations  for  a new GME  secondary school .

    Currently two sites have been identified as potential ‘stand alone’ locations- one in Granton and one in Craigmillar, and two existing secondary schools have been identified as presenting potential joint campus options (these have not yet been made public).

    We have presented the Council with the document outlining parents and carers priorities for selecting a suitable location based on open meetings with and feedback from parents and carers.

Have an enjoyable summer holiday

Le dùrachdan

Comann nam Pàrant Dùn Èideann Committee

Report from AGM 22nd May 2019

Ahead of a potentially challenging year for Gaelic Medium Education (GME) in Edinburgh, Comann nam Pàrant (Dun Èideann), the parent representative group which works on behalf of all children in Gaelic education in the city, held its AGM at James Gillespie’s High School on 22nd May 2019.

With a fresh commitment from the current City of Edinburgh Council (Edinburgh Council) leadership to advance plans for a dedicated GME high school and an expansion of GME provision at every level in the city, alongside the imminent issue of pressure on places at Bun-sgoil Taobh na Pàirce and James Gillespie’s, work must begin now among all parents to secure our sustainable vision for the future and growth of Gaelic education in Edinburgh.

The AGM was well-attended by over 30 parents, which is a welcome sign of the depth of engagement among those whose children will benefit over the coming years. When GME primary education moved from the dedicated unit at Tollcross to Bun-sgoil Taobh na Pàirce in 2013, this change was made possible only by the concerted efforts of the entire parent body at the time.

The move has inspired an unprecedented demand among parents who wish their children to have a GME education, and Bun-sgoil Taobh na Pàirce’s pupil body has grown to a huge extent in the past six years. To take GME in Edinburgh – and the opportunities and quality of education available to our children – to the next level, we ask that all parents make themselves ready for a period of action in the near future.

Edinburgh Council are likely to begin informal consultation on the sites for a new GME secondary and second primary after the summer holidays, and Comann nam Pàrant (Dun Èideann) – on behalf of and in discussion with the entire parent body – must arrive at a position on the options we will be given before formal consultation begins in early 2020.

In order to start this work, Comann nam Pàrant (Dun Èideann) has established working groups of volunteer parents looking at specific issues surrounding the current and future state of GME in Edinburgh. At the AGM each working group gave a preliminary report on their own area of interest, and we advise all parents who wish to know more about the in-depth issues facing GME to read the reports from our Primary/Early Years, Secondary and Education groups here.

In addition, there was a report from the Communication group, while Fiona Stephen gave a verbal report on the work of the national body Comann nam Pàrant Nàiseanta. In the immediate term, Comann nam Pàrant (Dun Èideann) will continue to engage with CEC, informally and through the council’s Gaelic Implementation Group (GIG), while we hope the council will also appoint a Gaelic Development Officer as a matter of urgency.

Changes in office bearers and committee members for the coming year were also agreed at the AGM. Stepping down with our deepest thanks were treasurer Wilma Laird, secretary Beverly Finnegan and convener Brian Thunder, and the AGM noted the considerable work the outgoing committee has done to secure meaningful engagement with the council and to improve our internal organisation.

In their place, Kevin Leetion was elected as convenor, Marianne O’Loughlin as secretary and Orla Hobson as treasurer.    

Minutes from the AGM are available here.

We have a busy year ahead, with key decisions to be taken to provide the best environment for our children and to ensure that GME can continue to grow. We will need parents to be involved and to let their voices be heard to make this happen, and we intend to provide new opportunities for engagement and discussion amongst all concerned during the next school term.

How to follow and engage with us at Comann nam Pàrant (Dun Èideann):

Blog: https://cnpduneideannblog.wordpress.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CnPEdinburgh/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/cnpedinburghPlease do get in touch with any comments or suggestions, or to be added to our mailing list, at cnpduneideann@gmail.com.