This scheme aims to encourage more parents to choose Gaelic education for their children and raise awareness of the importance of the home for acquiring fluency in Gaelic.
The most effective means of communicating information on Gaelic medium education to parents has proven to be ‘word of mouth’, personal communication, most often parent to parent. The Parental Advisory Scheme builds on this as well as experience we have from previous schemes such as the ‘Home Visiting’ schemes in the Western Isles and Highland areas. All our advisors have personal knowledge of GME.
Although the main aim of the parental advisory scheme is to increase the number of children in Gaelic-medium education, the scheme also has a role to play in ensuring parents have a firm understanding of GME, and the expectations on them to support their child once they have committed to this route of learning. In addition to promoting the benefits of bilingualism parents are informed about Gaelic and why their children are learning Gaelic. Parents need a clear explanation of the methodology of language immersion education, and an understanding of the commitment they should make and what support could be available to them e.g. classes for parents, parent and toddler groups, out of school extra-curricular activities.
The scheme is managed by Comann nam Pàrant Nàiseanta who have one paid member of staff (Parental Officer) and receive administrative support from Comunn na Gàidhlig.
Parental advisors receive one day initial training with an annual follow-up event which all parental advisors are invited to attend.