Primary & Secondary Education and Community Learning
Learning for those of primary & secondary school age is delivered through the region's 29 secondary schools, their associated primary schools and nursery centres. Informal learning across the age spectrum is supported through Community Learning and Leisure and can be accessed across a network of learning centres and libraries. Government funded schools are free for children aged 5–19. In many cases, this free provision is extended to children of international post-graduate students and other immigrants. The Highland Council also offers excellent provision for children with additional support needs. Information regarding services for children, families and young people can be accessed from the Highland's Children website.
The Council works in collaboration with other education and skills providers, including Skills Development Scotland and CREATE, to maximise opportunities for young people. Schools also work closely with Further and Higher Education colleges within the University of the Highlands and Islands, with a multi-million pound development set to open in 2015 as part of the exciting new Inverness Campus.
The Highland Council has invested substantially in updating and replacing its older schools. Its programme has included upgrading IT in every building, with improved levels of support for pupils through schemes such as Education Maintenance Allowance and Free School Meals. Many new school developments double as community centres which serve the local area. Amenities often include all weather sports facilities, gyms and libraries. Two developments underway are the new Inverness Royal Academy Campus and The Wick Project.
School results in Highland demonstrate excellent attainment at all levels, with the numbers of pupils leaving school with 3 or more higher qualifications continuing to rise. Key Highland school performance statistics can be accessed here.
The Scottish Government has long-term plans for Gaelic to be taught in every primary school in Scotland, and Education Scotland has said that Gaelic should be put at the centre of an ambitious plan to teach children two languages other than English at primary school.
The Highland Council believes that Gaelic medium education is of critical importance in reversing the decline of Gaelic in the Highlands, especially where supported by opportunities for young people to use Gaelic in the home and community.
Tha Riaghaltas na h-Alba air planaichean fad-ùine a chur air bhog gus a’ Ghàidhlig a theagasg anns gach bun-sgoil ann an Alba. Tha Foghlam Alba air a ràdh gum bu chòir dhan Ghàidhlig a bhith aig teis-meadhan plana mòr-mhiannach gus dà chànan cèin a theagasg do chloinn sa bhun-sgoil.
Tha Comhairle na Gàidhealtachd a’ creidsinn gu bheil foghlam tro mheadhan na Gàidhlig a’ riochdachadh an dòchais as fheàrr gus an crìonadh sa Ghàidhlig anns a’ Ghàidhealtachd a thilleadh air ais, gu h-àraid ma tha cothroman cuideachd aig daoine òga a’ Ghàidhlig a chleachdadh san dachaigh agus sa choimhearsnachd.
Banner image ©Ewen Weatherspoon