The Gaelic Language (Scotland) Act was passed by the Scottish Parliament in 2005 and Bòrd na Gàidhlig (BnG) was established as a result of this. BnG aims for the ‘normalisation’ of Gaelic with the Scottish population, requiring public bodies in Scotland to provide an active offer of Gaelic services. Gaelic Language Plans (GLPs) are used to set out exactly how an organisation will support and use the language, and encourage the use of Gaelic within its work.
Each GLP produced by the Scottish Parliament has to be publicly consulted upon and agreed by the Scottish Parliament Corporate Body (SPCB) before being submitted to BnG and Scottish Government Ministers. As part of our commitment to consult with the public, this document outlines our approach to Gaelic - detailing the services we currently provide, as well as those we are proposing for the next Gaelic Language Plan for 2018-2023.
Gaelic in the Scottish Parliament
Following the Gaelic Language (Scotland) Act 2005, the SCPB’s plans have been developed covering initially putting in place some basic service levels. For the past 5 years, we have focused on our communications and workplace training, with activities designed to raise the profile of Gaelic in simple but effective ways.
The next five years
The third phase of our Gaelic Language Plan will cover the period of April 2018 – March 2023 and we are now consulting on this. Our approach this time is much more pragmatic, trying to make sure Gaelic is integrated within our work as much as possible rather than as an additional ‘add-on’.
The next Plan is based on the following principles:
- Using Gaelic where appropriate to reach out to communities across Scotland and ensuring communities can reach out to us in Gaelic (by offering outreach and education activities in local communities and facilitating interactions with the Parliament in Gaelic).
- Supporting our MSPs and staff in developing confidence around using Gaelic in their work (by providing and promoting support and opportunities for them to do this).
- Integrating Gaelic into the fabric of the Scottish Parliament’s thinking (by ensuring work is delivered alongside and within existing programmes as well as having activities specifically for raising the profile of Gaelic).
The Scottish Parliament conducted a full public and internal consultation on the Gaelic language plan between September and November 2017 in which over 400 responses were received. We are now considering the responses before the final version of the plan is submitted to Bòrd na Gàidhlig.
More information about the plan will be posted here in the new year.