T he Scottish Government has regular discussions with Glasgow City Council on matters relating to Gaelic-medium education, and we have been delighted to support the expansion of provision within the city. This month, my officials met Glasgow City Council staff and discussed the council’s management of primary 1 and 2 entry, Gaelic probationers and the support that can be offered to the high proportion of parents who do not speak Gaelic at home.
I thank the cabinet secretary for that very encouraging answer. It is my understanding that Glasgow City Council has 140 GME places available; however, 170 applications have been received to date. That is extremely encouraging, but will be disappointing for some.
Can the cabinet secretary provide an assurance that there will be support to ensure that people who seek to place their children in Gaelic-medium education in Glasgow will have the opportunity to do so?
There is a lot of encouraging news in the work that Glasgow City Council is undertaking to support Gaelic-medium education. The council has reached another high this year, with about 160 primary 1 pupils seeking entry. The council often finds that there is a drop-off in applications before places are taken up. However, I hope that the council’s expansion of its Gaelic-medium estate from three primary schools to four, with support from the Scottish Government, will reassure Sandra White and her constituents that it is planning further expansion of Gaelic-medium education in Glasgow. I pay tribute to the council for the energy and commitment that it has given to that important policy objective.
Lastly, because this will be the last time that I respond to a question from my dear friend Sandra White, I wish her well on her retirement from Parliament.