Current Provision

In 2015, 10,677 pupils in Scotland were receiving some kind of education in Gaelic representing 1.6% of the country's student population. This figure is higher than Scotland's overall rate of Gaelic-speakers which stood at 1.1% in 2011.

Over 3,600 students in Scotland were enrolled in Gaelic medium education in 2015, a 24% increase in only two years and a 38% increase over 2010 figures.

Number of Pupils As a percentage of all
pupils in Scotland
at that level Gaelic-medium
education ALL PUPILS 3,660 0.54%
Secondary pupils 729 0.26%
Primary pupils 2,931 0.75%

Five council areas had a higher than average enrollment of students in Gaelic Medium Education: Eilean Siar (27.96%); Highland (3.40%); Argyll & Bute (1.82%); Glasgow City (1.09%); and Edinburgh City (0.68%). All Gaelic medium education students in Argyll & Bute are at the primary level only.

Over 7,000 other pupils in Scotland were receiving instruction in Gaelic language courses in 2015.

Number of Pupils As a percentage of all
pupils in Scotland
at that level Gaelic the only subject
taught through Gaelic Gaelic learner classes ALL PUPILS 6,745 0.99% TOTAL 7,017 1.03%
Secondary pupils 272 0.10%
Secondary pupils 2,485 0.88%
Primary pupils 4,260 1.09%

In Eilean Siar, 95.04% of all pupils were receiving some form of Gaelic-language education in 2015. In second place was the Highland council area at 8.06%, with Argyll & Bute in third at 6.38%. On the reverse side, eighteen council areas had no students at all receiving any education in Gaelic.

There are a handful of dedicated Gaelic medium schools in the country. The largest is Sgoil Ghàidhlig Ghlaschu (Glasgow Gaelic School), established in 2006 and catering to pupils aged three to eighteen, the country's first 3-18 Gaelic medium school. At the beginning of the 2014-15 year the school enrolled 704 pupils and is one of the most over-enrolled schools in Scotland. Bun-sgoil Ghàidhlig Inbhir Nis opened in 2007 in Inverness and serves pupils in class 1-7, as does Bun-sgoil Taobh na Pàirce which opened in 2013 in the capital city of Edinburgh. Bun-sgoil Taobh na Pàirce enrolled 253 pupils at the start of its second year in operation. A new Gaelic medium primary school, Bun-sgoil Ghàidhlig Loch Abar, opened in Caol near Fort William in 2015, and a similar school is currently under construction in Portree.

As there are still relatively few such schools, however, Gaelic medium education is mainly provided through Gaelic medium units within English-speaking schools. Bun-sgoil Shlèite on the Isle of Skye is the exception in that it is a Gaelic school with an English Medium Unit. The largest Gaelic unit is at Mount Cameron Primary School in East Kilbride which enrolled 65 pupils at the start of the 2014-15 school year.