Study argues the case for stand-alone Gaelic school in Oban

© SuppliedClaire Wilding, chairwoman of Comann nam Parant, which is calling for a standalone Gaelic Medium Primary School in Oban.
Claire Wilding, chairwoman of Comann nam Parant, which is calling for a standalone Gaelic Medium Primary School in Oban.

A feasibility study commissioned by parents argues in favour of providing a stand-alone Gaelic Primary School in Oban.

It follows an initial refusal by Argyll and Bute Council to consider building one.

The council’s education service received a request for a Gaelic school in Oban in 2016, but taking into consideration the existence of provision for Gaelic Medium Education (GME) in the area, the authority did not agree to a consultation at that time.

Earlier this year the feasibility study was commissioned by the group Comann nam Parant an Obain, with funding from Bord na Gaidhlig and the council.

The brief of the study was to “consider the feasibility of a stand-alone GME primary school in Oban with additional community use space and potential income generation streams.”

Comann nam Parant has requested in writing that the authority now considers the findings and undertakes a formal consultation of the proposal for a GME primary school in Oban.

The study is now being considered by a wide range of senior officers including the two heads of education, head of facility services, head of improvement and HR, head of strategic finance, head of economic development and the quality improvement manager for special projects.

At Thursday’s meeting of the Community Services Committee, councillors will be asked to note the request and agree for officers to bring another report to the committee when the exercise has been completed.

Claire Wilding, chairwoman of Comann nam Parant, said: “The feasibility study shows that the desire for a standalone Gaelic Medium Primary School in Oban is there, even from parents of children who have not started pre school yet and parents from outside the town.

“We hope it can be positively received. It is a very positive report and quite clearly shows that the need and desire is there.

“It is the obvious next step for growth and for development of the Gaelic language.”

At present, GME in the Oban and Lorn area is delivered via dedicated classes within Rockfield Primary School and Strath of Appin Primary School, both of which also have dedicated Gaelic early learning childcare.

The feasibility study, researched and written by Emma Grant, a community development consultant and coach, presents an argument for the creation of a stand-alone GME primary school in Oban and Lorn area.

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