§ Mr. Ernie Ross
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland (1) which regional authorities are bound to provide Gaelic in Gaelic-speaking areas in schools;
(2) what criteria he uses in terms of the number of Gaelic speakers in an area to decide if it is a "Gaelic-speaking area".
§ Mr. Alexander Fletcher
Section 1 of the Education (Scotland) Act 1980 imposes upon education authorities the duty to secure the provision of adequate and efficient school education for their areas. The same section of the Act further provides that school education includes the teaching of Gaelic in Gaelic-speaking areas. I understand that Gaelic is being taught on this basis in some schools in the Strathclyde and Highland regions and in the Western Isles. It is for education authorities themselves to define, in the first instance, what constitutes a Gaelic-speaking area.