Gaelic teachers prepare and give lessons in Gaelic language, literature, culture, history and arts. They work to guidelines set up by the Curriculum for Excellence and prepare pupils, aged 11 to 18, for national exams. Pupils may be native Gaelic speakers or learners.
You could be:
teaching spoken and written Gaelic to native Gaelic speakers or beginners, or both
using a variety of teaching techniques such as whole class lessons, small group work, discussions and individual projects
using a range of materials including textbooks, worksheets, computers, audio-visual aids
organising and directing the whole class and helping individual pupils as required
setting assignments, projects, tests and exams, preparing and carrying out continuous assessment, marking pupils’ work and writing reports
keeping good order in the classroom and dealing with discipline issues
doing administrative work, including keeping a register of pupils
preparing for and attending parent-teacher meetings and staff meetings
sometimes supervising out of hours activities such as visits or social events.
Teachers in Scotland are paid on a national salary scale. The starting annual salary for a probationer teacher is £32,217 (January 2024).
If you do your probationary period on the Teacher Induction Scheme, and are prepared to work anywhere in Scotland during that probationary year, you can also apply for the Preference Waiver Payment. For secondary school teachers, the payment is £8,000 before tax and national insurance.
Where a teacher is employed in a remote school on a distant island both the remote schools allowance and the distant islands allowance are paid, in addition to the teacher’s normal salary.
A principal teacher earns between £52,896 and £68,265 a year, while the scale for depute head teachers and head teachers ranges from £59,994 to £110,808 a year, depending on the size of school.
Salaries in independent schools may differ slightly.
You would work in a classroom or language laboratory.
Your working hours are based on a 35-hour week, working in a classroom 9.00am to 3.30pm or 4.00pm. You would use the rest of the time for preparation and marking.
You may have to do some preparation and assessment work at home, in the evenings or at weekends.
You would have 13 weeks holiday each year, but would probably use some of this time to prepare next term's work.
You would have to prepare for and attend parent-teacher meetings, which are usually in the evening.
You should be aware that teaching is a mentally and physically demanding job.
To qualify as a secondary school teacher of Gaelic, you must have a degree (SCQF Level 9-10) in Gaelic or Celtic (specialising in Scottish Gaelic) plus a Professional Graduate Diploma (SCQF Level 11) in Education (PGDE) OR the BA (Honours) degree (SCQF Level 10) in Gaelic and Education offered by the University of the Highlands and Islands (UHI) at Sabhal Mor Ostaig and North, West and Hebrides UHI.
For entry to a degree course you normally need 4-5 relevant Highers at good grades.
You must also have Higher English and National 5 Maths and a Higher pass in Gaelic or another language may also be required. National 5 Applications of Maths is accepted in place of Maths.
Your degree should normally contain 80 Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF) credit points in Gaelic or in Celtic (specialising in Scottish Gaelic), and 40 of the credit points must have been studied at SCQF Level 8 (second year undergraduate level) or above.
For entry to the BA (Hons) degree in Gaelic and Education at the UHI you need 3 Highers at BBC including English and preferably Gaelic at B or above, plus National 5 Maths.
For entry to the PGDE, you need an approved degree, together with Higher English and National 5 Maths - some institutions specify at B. National 5 Applications of Maths is accepted in place of Maths.
You should also be able to demonstrate that you are fluent in written and spoken Gaelic.
Strathclyde University offers the PGDE in Gaelic. It also offers most of its PGDE secondary school subjects through the medium of Gaelic as well.
The University of the Highlands and Islands (UHI) offers the PGDE in Gaelic at Argyll, Inverness, Moray, North, West and Hebrides, Orkney, Perth and Shetland colleges.
There is a lot of competition for places in all PGDE courses. It helps if you have experience of working with children or young people.
For PGDE courses, apply through UCAS.
There are a number of new teacher training programmes available, most linked to local authorities. See Teach in Scotland for full details and to see which subjects are covered.
You will require a satisfactory criminal record check from Disclosure Scotland to show that you are suitable for this type of work. Contact Disclosure Scotland for details on the type you would need.
Newly qualified teachers who want to teach in local council schools must complete a probationary period to demonstrate that they meet the Standard for Full Registration of the General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTC Scotland). Those who wish to teach in independent schools may also require to be registered.
You are guaranteed a teaching post with a Scottish local authority for a full school year to complete this probationary period.