Proposals for Gaelic Secondary Education in Edinburgh

City of Edinburgh Council aims to build a dedicated secondary school for Gaelic Medium Education in Edinburgh and a consultation process has begun.

As Sciennes is a feeder to James Gillespie’s High School (where secondary GME for Edinburgh is currently provided) this consultation is relevant to our community. The documents and details for the informal consultation are now available on the Council’s consultation hub and can be found at the following link:

Current Situation at James Gillespie’s High School Secondary

Gaelic Medium Education (GME) pupils are currently based in a unit, hosted within James Gillespie’s High School (JGHS). Both the Gaelic and English Medium sections of the school are currently over-subscribed, putting pressure on resources, facilities and accommodation. The number of pupils in Gaelic Medium Education attending JGHS is presently 149 and this number is predicted to rise. This represents a substantial increase from the 88 students that attended in 2016/17. As well as the growth in Gaelic pupils there has also been a growth in the JGHS catchment pupils which has grown by 17% over the past ten years.

The current school roll stands at just over 1300 pupils and is predicted to grow to over 1900 by 2029. The present school building has an agreed capacity of 1300 and additional temporary accommodation has been provided to deal with the immediate rising roll. This will not accommodate all the expected growth in pupils in the longer term.

“The Council is committed to the expansion of high-quality secondary Gaelic Medium Education (GME) in an immersive environment.  As Scotland’s capital city, we have a special responsibility to nurture and help cultivate the Gaelic language as an integral part of our shared heritage and national identity.

In order to secure a sustainable future for Gaelic, the Council has talked to the GME school communities for a considerable period about the options for GME secondary provision in the city.

To enable us to put forward a credible case to the Scottish Government for funding, it is necessary to identify a preferred option for the future of secondary GME that has the support of Edinburgh’s GME community.

We have considered four options for a new secondary GME setting, the benefits and challenges of each are explored further below:”

Virtual public meetings

City of Edinburgh Council is holding two virtual public meetings to discuss the options further:

  • Wednesday 25 November 2020, 7.00pm – 9.00pm
  • Monday 30 November 2020, 7.00pm – 9.00pm

If you have any comments or questions that you would like to be addressed, please contact  ahead of the meetings, or by 11th December to be included in the outcome report.

Attending a meeting

If you would like to attend either of the public meetings, please contact to confirm which date you would prefer.

The meetings will also be webcast live here.