Gaelic education in Argyll and Bute

Published Date: 

8 Jan 2018 - 16:12

Did you know that Argyll and Bute Council offers Gaelic Medium Education at seven of its primary schools?

Those who attend are taught entirely through Gaelic during their first three years of school. This total immersion in the language means that children do not have to be fluent in Gaelic when they begin.

After primary three, English is gradually introduced but Gaelic remains the predominant language of the classroom until the end of primary school and beyond, enabling them to become bi-lingual.

The Council’s Policy Lead for Gaelic, Councillor Robin Currie said: “The curriculum is full of Gaelic songs, stories, rhymes and drama based activities. It provides children with a fun way of learning the language. The majority of families who choose Gaelic Medium Education don’t speak Gaelic at home but that isn’t necessarily a barrier to learning – there’s lot of support for parents, carers and children within the Gaelic community. 

“Some families choose not to learn Gaelic for use at home but, want to provide their children with a high quality education in Gaelic. There has been rigorous research undertaken to ensure that the attainment of those children educated through Gaelic is appropriate.”

Gaelic Medium Education is available in the following locations across Argyll and Bute: Rockfield Primary School in Oban; Strath of Appin Primary School in Appin; Salen Primary School on Mull; Bunessan Primary School on Mull; Tiree Primary School; Bowmore Primary School on Islay; and Sandbank Primary School in Dunoon. 

Where available, pupils receive Gaelic Medium Education at secondary level for, at least, Gaelic as a subject.

Several locations providing Gaelic Medium Education in primary also have a Gaelic Pre-5 facility, known as Sgoil Àraich; Rockfield, Salen, Bowmore, Tiree and Sandbank.

If you would like your child to be educated through Gaelic and there is no provision near you, it is possible to make a request for Gaelic Medium Primary Education (GMPE) to the Education Authority.

Children who turn five between 1 March 2018 and 28 February 2019 should be registered for primary school during the week beginning Monday 15 January 2018. This includes those wishing to be registered at a Gaelic Medium unit.

Parents should take their children to their local primary school to register during that week, between 10am and 3pm. If your child is not already receiving pre-school education in Argyll and Bute, you need to bring their birth certificate with you when you register.

Further information, including how to make a placing request and how to request early entry to primary school, can be found by logging on to

Further information on current provision and the request process is available on our council website, following the link below: