§ 40. Mr. Dempsey
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if, in view of the introduction of foreign languages into Scottish primary schools, he will approve the introduction of the Gaelic language with a view to preserving Scottish culture; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mrs. Hart
It is open to any education authority to provide Gaelic courses in primary as in secondary schools. In Gaelic-speaking areas education authorities have a duty to ensure that adequate provision is made for the teaching of Gaelic language and literature and 4,125 primary pupils are studying it in these areas.
§ Mr. Dempsey
Can my hon. Friend see whether that information can be made known to all Scottish local education authorities? Is she aware that while French, for example, is being taught— and we welcome the introduction of the teaching of French in primary schools— in many primary schools in my district 1140 Gaelic is not taught as a subject of instruction? Therefore, in the interests of her Scottish culture, will my hon. Friend make sure that this information is available to the education authority concerned?
§ Mr. Russell Johnston
Is the hon. Lady aware that restricted experiments in Gaelic teaching in primary schools in the county of Inverness have been going on for some time? Would she take steps to make some money directly available and, if this is possible, to extend the area where this is being done? At present it is relatively restricted and the restriction is primarily financial.