Euan McGrory: Edinburgh is facing a Gaelic conundrum

Drummond Community High School.
Drummond Community High School.
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Gaelic medium teaching is one of those subjects which tends to get people hot under the collar.

Supporters are passionate about the idea of keeping alive a traditional Scottish language and for some it is a central part of their identity and heritage. Objecters claim that for many it is little more than a backdoor way for parents - usually described in a derisory way as “middle class” - to get their children into one of the better state schools. With demand for children to be taught in Gaelic soaring the issue is becoming a hot potato for the city.

The parents of pupils at Drummond High are not daft. Neither are they anti-Gaelic. What they see in the idea of moving the city’s Gaelic medium teaching unit to their school is the council creating a huge headache. At the moment, there is enough room for children from the local community to be taught there alongside Gaelic unit students. That won’t be the case for long. Soon the school would be bursting at the seams. And then what? Nobody knows. Will the school be expanded to cope? Will Gaelic unit pupil numbers be capped? Or will pupils living nearest the school be moved out to create the long-discussed Gaelic-medium high school for the Capital? All the parents deserve answers.