GAELIC education is set to be offered to secondary school pupils in Inverclyde for the first time from next year.

At a special meeting of the council’s education committee it was decided Gaelic would be offered at Inverclyde Academy in Greenock from August 2024, subject to a consultation process and final approval.

Provision is already available at the town’s Whinhill Primary School but secondary pupils have to travel to Glasgow if they want Gaelic education and even then a place is not guaranteed.

It is expected the Glasgow Gaelic School will not be able to accommodate placing requests in future so councillors have had to look at options for providing education in the local authority area.

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Jim Clocherty, Inverclyde Council’s convener of education and communities, said: “This is a welcome step towards providing a dedicated Gaelic secondary education here in Inverclyde.

“Currently, parents have to put in a placing request for their children to continue their Gaelic education in Glasgow but we want to build on the success of the Gaelic provision at Whinhill and create a sustainable pathway for Gaelic education here in Inverclyde from early years right through to high school.”

Plans were drawn up in collaboration with the local Gaelic advisory group, which was established by the council in May 2022 and is made up of representatives from parent group Comann nam Pàrant, Gaelic language body Bòrd na Gàidhlig, council officers, and staff from Whinhill Primary School.

The council also commissioned an external study to evaluate the various proposals, which at one stage included sending Gaelic-medium pupils to Dunoon Grammar School.

Establishing Gaelic secondary provision within Inverclyde Academy was the preferred option based on cost, accessibility and its existing links to Whinhill Primary School as a "cluster" school in the same catchment area. 

A formal proposal will now be drawn up and brought before the education committee at a later date before going out to public consultation.