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Gaelic Medium in North Lanarkshire

The Gaelic Language (Scotland) Act 2005

The Gaelic Language (Scotland) Act 2005 was passed by the Scottish Parliament in 2005 to give Gaelic greater protection and prominence as an official language of Scotland. The Act established Bòrd na Gàidhlig, which advises Ministers on matters relating to Gaelic language, culture and education. As part of the Act, certain public bodies are also required to develop plans that outline how they will use the Gaelic language.

More information can be found at Gaelic Language (Scotland) Act 2005 ( & untitled (

What is Gaelic-medium education?

Gaelic-medium Education (GME) is a free bilingual educational option available to all families in North Lanarkshire. Children can enter GME at nursery age or at Primary 1 age.

Children are totally immersed in Gaelic until around Primary 4 when they begin the immersion phase of their Gaelic education when English is introduced. By the end of Primary 7 GME pupils will be fluent in Gaelic, English and in accordance with Scottish Government 1 + 2 Policy GME pupils also have studied French for three years.

On completion of their Gaelic primary education pupils can continue their Gaelic into secondary education at Greenfaulds High School, which offers a range of subjects through Gaelic.

In North Lanarkshire there are three education establishments where children can learn Gaelic. There are two nursery settings for children ages 3 -5 years. One within Condorrat Primary School in Cumbernauld and the other within Tollbrae Primary School in Airdrie. Children who have attended either Gaelic nursery can transition into primary one at Condorrat Primary School to continue their Gaelic medium education. Children can also enter primary 1 at Condorrat Primary School without having attended Gaelic medium nurseries. On completion of their Gaelic Primary Education, pupils can continue their Gaelic learning at Greenfaulds High School, where Gaelic is taught in several subjects and Gaelic Learner Education is available.

Why choose Gaelic-medium education?

Gaelic medium education is a natural way to learn the language and a great opportunity. Bilingualism is the norm in many countries and research has shown that bilingual education can improve children’s performance in school.

Gaelic speakers make a valuable contribution to Scotland’s education, economy and cultural heritage. Being bilingual makes it easier to learn a third language, such as French, Spanish or German, and you do not need to be a Gaelic speaker to send your child to Gaelic medium education.


The Education (Scotland) Act 2016  contains information on provisions on Gaelic Education. Bòrd na Gàidhlig has produced Statutory Guidance on Gaelic Education.  This document provides information about the assessment process for Gaelic Medium Primary Education (GMPS).

If you are a parent seeking an assessment of the need for Gaelic Medium Primary Education for your child, the GMPS request forms can be found on the Scottish government website. Supporting documents - Gaelic Medium Primary Education: assessment request form - (

Nursery enrolment

All nursery places are allocated in line with our Admissions Policy and the nursery staff will be happy to advise how this policy operates when you apply for a place for your child. 

Your child does not need to have any previous knowledge of Gaelic to attend the Sgoil-Àraich. The Sgoil-Àraich class provides pre-five education for children in all areas of North Lanarkshire.

We want your child to feel confident in this new environment, therefore once a place has been allocated you will be invited along for your child’s first day at nursery. As every child is different, the time they take to settle will vary. If your child does require support when leaving their loved ones, you have the option of leaving them for shorter periods of time until they are fully settled in nursery.

During the settling-in time, your child can explore the nursery and begin to form trusting relationships with the staff. Your child’s first visit with a parent will be for 30 minutes, the second visit one hour without parents and thereafter at your child’s pace. This will be discussed between parents/carers and Keyworker.

Find out more about Early Learning and Childcare applications.

Primary enrolment

Parents should in the first instance go to their catchment primary school. When completing enrolment parents should advise that they wish for their child to be enrolled for Gaelic-medium education.

The catchment school will complete all details and then make contact with North Lanarkshire’s GME establishment. The headteacher will then be in touch with the family regarding transition and starting school.

Find a Gaelic school in North Lanarkshire.

Page last updated:
03 Nov 2023

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