Gaelic Sector

Our inspections of the Gaelic sector aim to:

  • promote improvement and successful innovation to enhance learners’ experiences and achievements;
  • provide assurance on the quality of Gaelic Education; and
  • contribute to evidence gathering for national policy, including for Gaelic.

Our individual establishment and services reports may be found here: Inspection reports.

Our arrangements for inspecting in the Gaelic sector and other support for improvement may be found here: Arrangements for inspecting Gaelic Education.

Our Chief Inspector Report gives an analysis of our scrutiny findings. Here are some examples of reports that evaluate Gaelic.

School Inspection Findings 2018-19

Local approaches to recovery: a thematic review

Evaluation of Foundation Apprenticeships - March 2022

Schools (Consultation) (Scotland) Act 2010

A council must consult parents, children, young people and the wider community when it proposes a change to its school estate. This includes changes such as proposals to close schools, changes to a school’s catchment area and setting up of catchment areas for Gaelic Medium Education. Bòrd na Gàidhlig must be consulted on proposals for Gaelic Medium Education. More detail can be read in the Statutory Guidance on Gaelic Education, 2017.

The Schools (Consultation) (Scotland) Act 2010 sets out the formal process that councils must follow. HM Inspectors of Education have a statutory duty to produce an independent and impartial report on these proposals. These reports may be accessed on our school consultation reports page.

Education (Scotland) Act 2016

The Education (Scotland) Act 2016 has provisions for Gaelic. These are to ensure that education authorities assess the need for establishing Gaelic Medium Primary Education. The parent of a child who has not yet started school may request that their local education authority assesses the need for Gaelic Medium Education. More information is available on the Scottish Government website.

An important feature of this Act is that it puts in place a timely, statutory process for education authorities to follow on receipt of a parental request. HM Inspectors of Schools are involved in the statutory process and produce an independent and impartial report on the determination to set up a Gaelic Medium provision. These reports are available here:

PDF file: Glasgow City Council Report - Education (Scotland) Act 2016 (509 KB)

PDF file: Glasgow City Council Report - Education (Scotland) Act 2016 (Gaelic version) (502 KB)

PDF file: East Renfrewshire Council Report - Education (Scotland) Act 2016 (513 KB)

PDF file: East Renfrewshire Council Report - Education (Scotland) Act 2016 (Gaelic version) (511 KB)

HM Inspectors would appreciate early notice of an education authority’s intention to undertake a full assessment of the need for Gaelic Medium Primary Education. Please contact us at the earliest possible point at

Education authorities can, as happens just now, decide to set up Gaelic Medium Education at any time without following the statutory process.

Public and education authorities also have two duties in the Education (Scotland) Act 2016 to assist with strategic planning for improvement. These are:

  • actively promote Gaelic Medium and Learner Education; and
  • support Gaelic Medium and Learner Education where it is provided.