Readers react to protests over plans to move Edinburgh's Gaelic school

READERS have had their say after education chiefs were accused of 'social cleansing' over plans to redesignate a school as Edinburgh's Gaelic centre.

Friday, 12th January 2018, 1:01 pm
Updated Friday, 12th January 2018, 1:05 pm
Drummond Community High School.

Parents hit out over the plans to consider proposals to move the Capital’s provision of bilingual schooling from James Gillespie’s to Drummond Community High following a surge in demand for Gaelic Medium Education (GME).

Evening News readers have been quick to pour scorn over the plans - but some spoke out in support of preserving the language.

Taking to Facebook, Craig Lumsdaine said: “If you want to learn Gaelic, great.

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Parents at Drummond Community High are concerned about plans to turn the school into a dedicated Gaelic education centre. Picture: Ian Georgeson

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Gaelic plan for Edinburgh school branded '˜social cleansing'

“Do it on your own time through and with your own money. It’s a hobby language that is of no use whatsoever outside of small pockets of Scotland.

“Spend the resource on teaching languages to kids they will actually find useful in their adult lives. Given that 20 per cent of kids are leaving school functionally illiterate, English would be a good place to start.”

But Gail Buckie disagreed.

Parents at Drummond Community High are concerned about plans to turn the school into a dedicated Gaelic education centre. Picture: Ian Georgeson

She said: “Gaelic is an important part of Scottish history and the future. Edinburgh is trying to provide the Gaelic speakers somewhere to go.

“For those who aren’t speakers or even familiar with the language, it won’t make sense but if we don’t support it, it will die.”

Jennie Godfrey said: “Of Gaelic speakers in Scotland, there is a surprisingly high percentage in Edinburgh.”

Gary Cleghorn added: “I’ve had to go to classes in my own time and pay for them myself.

“I think the fact there is funding available solely for this purpose is excellent and should be used as such.”

Annie Mo questioned funding being put towards teaching Gaelic.

She said: “I would love Gaelic taught in every Scottish school but at the moment with the current economic climate, I’m not sure how Edinburgh Council can justify prioritising GME over core education for kids at their catchment school?

“I was taught Gaelic in Inverness when younger but didn’t get it in Midlothian when I moved.”

Yvonne Bruce added: “This obviously can not be afforded and it is more important that the school thrives in the way it is doing just now.

“If people want to learn Gaelic, they should do so at their own cost and not at the expense of other children.

“It should be treated as any other foreign language as it was never widely used in the lowlands of Scotland.”

Parent Edmund Farrow also had his say on Facebook.

He said: “The campaign to save Drummond is not about the issue of Gaelic Medium Education itself.

“Drummond parents support the provision of satisfactory GME facilities in Edinburgh - we just do not feel such provision should be at the expense of our diverse and cherished community school.”

Ian Pearson was not impressed, labelling the news “a total joke”.

He added: “Gaelic seems to be the latest unnecessary accessory for the Edinburgh luvvies.”