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Gaelic is spoken mainly in the Highlands and Islands of Scotland. It is a Celtic language closely related to Irish and Manx, and more distantly related to Welsh, Breton and Cornish.
Gaelic-medium primary education was first introduced in the traditional heartlands of the language in the mid 1970's, and soon followed in the wake of Gaels who had migrated to urban and Lowland areas. Due to strong support from Scottish parents for Gaelic medium education, additional Gaelic-medium schools were opened, and in 1999/2000, 59 Gaelic-medium schools existed throughout Scotland. 2)
Scottish Gaelic is covered under Part III of the European Charter for Regional and Minority Languages. Download the Council of Europe report 2013 about the United Kingdom or the UK report from 2018.
The Gaelic language is also covered by the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities. You can read the latest reports of the UK and the Council of Europe here.
Every five years, Bòrd na Gàidhlig makes a National Gaelic Language Plan.
According to the census from 2011, 2500 children will be learning Gaelic in 2012 and 2013, opposed to 24 children in 1985.4). In 2007 MacCaluim (2007) estimated that about 700 learners obtained fluency.
Read more about Gaelic language education in Mercator's Regional Dossier (2018).
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