Document 1060

Scottish Parliament: Report on Inquiry intil the role o educational and cultural policy (Scots)

Author(s): Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body

Copyright holder(s): Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body: © Scottish Parliamentary copyright material is reproduced with the permission of the Queen's Printer for Scotland on behalf of the Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body.


Education, Culture an Sport Comatee

2nd Report, 2003

Report on Inquiry intil the role o educational an cultural policy in uphaudin an bringin oot Gaelic, Scots an minority leids in Scotland.

Education, Culture an Sport Comatee
2nt Report, 2003







Education, Culture an Sport Comatee

Scowth an memmership


Tae consider an report on maitters anent schuil an preschuil education an sic ither maitters as faws inwith the responsibility o the Meenister for Education an Young Folk; an on maitters anent culture an sport an sic ither maitters, forby tourism, as faws inwith the responsibility o the Meenister for Tourism, Culture an Sport. (As greed by resolution o the Pairlament on 13 June 2002)

Karen Gillon (Convener)
Jackie Baillie (2)
Ian Jenkins
Mr Frank McAveety (5)
Irene McGugan
Mr Brian Monteith
Cathy Peattie (Depute Convener) (7)
Michael Russell

Comatee Substitutes:
Murdo Fraser (1)
Marilyn Livingstone (3)
Fiona McLeod (4)
Karen Whitefield (6)

Comatee Clarkin Team:
Martin Verity
Judith Evans (8)
Susan Duffy (9)
Ian Cowan

1 fae 16 Mey 2002
2 Jackie Baillie become a memmer o the Comatee on 29 November 2001.
3 fae 26 September 2002
4 fae 16 Mey 2002
5 Frank McAveety wis Depute Convener fae 11 December 2001 tae his resignation fae the Comatee on 9 Mey 2002.
6 fae 9 Mey 2002 tae 26 September 2002
7 Cathy Peattie wis Depute Convener tae her resignation fae the Comatee on 28 November 2001. She wis reappointit as a memmer o the Comatee on 9 Mey 2002 an become Depute Convener on 14 Mey 2002.
8 fae 9 Aprile 2001 tae 7 Januar 2002
9 fae 7 Januar 2002

SP Paper 778 1 Session 1 (2003)

Education Culture an Sport Comatee

2nt Report 2003

Inquiry intil the role o educational an cultural policy in uphaudin an bringin oot Gaelic, Scots an minority leids in Scotland.

The Comatee reports tae the Pairlament as ablow —


1. The scowth o this Inquirie is tae speir oot the role o educational an cultural policy in uphaudin an bringin oot Gaelic, Scots an minority leids in Scotland.

2. A general caw for screivit evidence wis published, an the ingaithered submissions in writin is attached as Annex A. A wheen fact-findin collogues wis conductit forby. Amang them spoken tae wis Professor Richard Johnstone (Director, Scottish CILT), Joanna McPake (Depute Director, Scottish CILT) an Dharmendra Kanani (Heid o CRE Scotland) (1).

3. This report ettles tae speir at ongaun attitudes an approaches taen anent language in Scotland; specifically the approach bein taen anent the awnin, uiss an learnin o Gaelic, Scots an minority leids.

4. Tae dae this, the content an application o ongaun initiatives an legislation maun be lookit intil.

5. For tae be representative an tae mak for clarity, it is necessar forby tae define ‘minority leids’ in Scotland.


6. Mony institutions an organisations is reportin or commentin mair an mair aften on the uiss o leids, contributin tae braider public interest. It is mair widely acknowledged gettin that uphaud for language uiss is needit in order tae mak shair that folk can haud ontae a sense o identity, be a pairt o cultural diversity an contribute tae the nation’s economic virr.

7. Globalisation, forby its mony advantages, is nae fiere tae linguistic diversity. In particular, the future o Scotland’s twa heritage leids, Scots an Gaelic, is faur fae siccar. Ane o the documents o the Nuffield Inquiry on Leids in the UK states:

“It has been jaloused that 90% o the world’s leids will be extinct or doomed tae be extinct by the end o the neist (21st) century. A leid—or mair like, its last bidin speaker—dees ilka twa weeks. This tynin o leids is closely thirled tae a tynin o cultural diversity, thegither wi a tynin o sma communities an their specialised kennin an social practices. The tynin o cultural an linguistic diversity forenent the world in the neist decades is faur greater nor the parallel tynin in the biological world. (Graddol 1998)“ (2)

8. Wi this in mind, speirin anent weys tae uphaud an bring oot language uiss in Scotland is weel tae the point.

Language an Literacy Policy in Scotland

9. Visitin Professor an expert consultant tae the SCOTLANG(3) project for the Scottish Centre for Information on Language Teaching an Research (CILT), Professor Joseph Lo Bianco, hauds that a country haein nae specific policy for its hamelt heritage leid/s in actual fact has a sleekit policy. Its policy is tae let the leids dwine and dee.

10. Professor Lo Bianco is o the belief that:

“Scotland is in need o a National Policy on Language acause language an literacy policies is in the national interest an in the brawest interests o Scotland’s citizens in the aye-chyngin an wanchancy world o the future.” (4)

11. Professor Lo Bianco’s report (5) hauds that the owerairchin language policy for Scotland maun be reddit aroon three principles:

• beildin an revitalisin Scotland’s existin linguistic heritage

• integratin language resources in Scotland wi public policy priorities

• bringin oot new an extendit opportunities

National Cultural Strategy

12. In August 2000, the Executive published its National Cultural Strategy. The Strategy has fower objectives. Ane is tae “Celebrate Scotland’s cultural heritage in its haill diversity”. Priority 2.1 unner this objective is tae “Promote Scotland’s leids as cultural expressions an as weys o accessin Scotland’s culture”.

13. The five statements made in-ablow Priority 2.1 is:

2.1.1 Aye uphaud, whaur demand is sufficient, Gaelic-medium preschuil an primary education;

2.1.2 Speir anent the feasibility o a centre for the Leids o Scotland that includes Gaelic an the dialects o Scots an could tak in the Scottish National Dictionary;

2.1.3 Mak siccar that, throu their initial trainin an professional oncome, teachers is weel able tae promote an bring oot the language skeels o aw pupils;

2.1.4 Aye uphaud the makkin o educational resources that upheezes diversity o leids an learnin aboot aw the leids spoken.

2.1.5 Estaiblish an action group tae consider whit wey the leids an cultural traditions o Scotland’s ethnic minorities can be uphauden an whit wey their contribution tae the culture o Scotland can be kent an kirnit. (6)

14. The first report on the National Cultural Strategy ootlinin darg done sae faur on the objectives an their priorities wis published 25 October 2001. It wid dae tae note that mony o the submissions tae this Inquiry wis ingaithered afore the publication o this report. Opinions centered aroon whit folk jaloused wis the extent that the objectives an their priorities as published in August 2000 wis gettin implementit.

15. In repone tae objective 2.1.2 a feasibility study intil an Institute for the Leids o Scotland, tochered by the Carnegie Trust for the Universities o Scotland is noo roadit. Amang the ettles o the study is:

Tae speir oot the kind o wittins anent the languages o Scotland wantit bi the government, education at aw levels, the cultural sector an the commonty.

Tae wale whit priorities is maist needit in Scotland, an mak recommends anent future strategy.

16. Progress wi a hantle o the objectives has been slaw, in particular wi objective 2.1.5. The implementation action taen fae the annual review states that the Executive “is giein mair consideration tae this proposal”. While there mibbe political guidwill tae uphaud cultural inpit fae ethnic minorities intil Scottish society, action tae uphaud this has no been as gleg.

The European Chairter for Regional an Minority Leids

17. The UK Government ratified the European Chairter for Regional an Minority Leids on 27 Mairch 2001. The Chairter defines “regional or minority leids” as them that is:

“traditionally uised inwith a gien territory o a State by nationals o that State that maks a group smawer in nummers nor the lave o that State’s population; an different fae the offeicial leid(s) o that State;

it doesna tak in either dialects o the official leid(s) o the State nor leids o migrants;”

18. The territory whaur the regional or minority leid is uised refers tae the “geographical area whaur the said leid is the mode o expression o a nummer o folk that wid justify adoptin the sindry meisures tae beild an promote that is providit for in this Chairter”. (7)

19. Pairt II o the Chairter sets oot the heid principles an objectives stellin the policies, legislation an practice o states, an is regairdit as providin the necessar framework for the beildin o the leids concerned.

20. Pairt III o the Chairter serves tae translate intil precise rules the general principles affirmed in Pairt II. The rules bears on education, judicial authorities, administrative authorities an public services, the media, cultural activities an infrastructure, economic an social life an transfrontier exchynges.

21. When the Chairter wis ratified by the UK Government, it wis deemed that Scots met the Chairter’s definition o a regional or minority leid for the purposes o Pairt II, while Gaelic should be taen in unner Pairt III.

Citizens o a Multilingual Warld

22. An Action Group for Leids wis estaiblished in 1998 by Helen Liddell, at thon time Meenister for Education. Ane o the first issues for the group wis tae bring oot a rationale for learnin o leids. This rationale wis inbiggit intil the report published by the Scottish Executive cried “Citizens o a Multilingual World”.

23. The report taen note that Scotland has twa hamelt heritage leids—Gaelic an Scots (8). It identified forby hoo there a puckle o whit the report cries community leids sic as Urdu, Cantonese, Bengali, Polish, Arabic, Italian an Japanese. The report states:

“The ongaun virr o oor lesser-uised heritage an community leids is important no juist for the communities that speaks thae leids. It maks oor haill society richer an maks it mair socially inclusive forby.” (9)

24. Leids maun hae an integral role in society an in education. As is notit in the report, multilingualism can bring braw economic an social benefits in the global mercat.

25. Altho anent the learnin o modern European leids, the “Citizens o a Multilingual World” report states:

““It will help (students) theretil tae unnerstaun hoo experience o the world throu anither leid can be juist as ‘real’ an ‘valid’ as experience o the world throu English. It will allou them tae derive cognitive benefits throu problemreddin, memorisation, mindin, makkin connections, takkin tent tae detail an pragmatic strategies.” (10)

European Year o Languages 2001

26. The European Year o Leids wis reddit by the European Union an the Cooncil o Europe. An undemous range o events wis reddit an darg done oot-ower the 45 countries that taen pairt durin 2001. The three heid messages o the European Year o Leids wis:

Europe is multilingual an aye will be.

Lairnin leids brings folk opportunities.

Awbody can dae it.

5-14 National Guidelines

27. In 1991, the English Leid 5-14 National Guidelines wis wrocht. Thir guidelines gied oot advice on the learnin an teachin o English leid in Scottish schuils. Forby that, the guidelines maks specific reference tae “takkin accoont o diversity o language an culture in the English-leid clessroom.” (11)

28. In the section “Rationale”, the Guidelines states:

“A bairn’s earliest leid is acquired in the hame an at preschuil groups, an schuils will bigg on that foond an on the bairn’s braidenin range o experience. This early leid will be varied: whiles it will be dialect an on occasion it winna be English. But it will reflect the diversity o the community that the schuil serves an will contribute tae the learnin that taks place in the clessroom.This leid will be wycely haunled by teachers sae as tae meet individual needs, encourage confidence an mak learnin a cantie experience.” (12)

29. Mair, the guidelines stipulates 3 ettles, as ablow:

“Schuils should:

bring on pupils’ skeels an knawledge sae as they can richt realise their ability tae unnerstaun English an uise it accurate-like;

uphaud pupils’ personal oncome throu language an literature, wi aw intellectual, emotional, aesthetic, social an moral development; bring oot in pupils a range o positive attitudes tae their ain an each anither’s language oncome, wi aw care for tolerance, enjoyment, co-operation an sharin.” (13)

30. Steivenin this is the statement hoo “The schuil has the duty tae bring oot an awaurness o this diversity o culture an language, helpin pupils, throu language, tae value theirsels an their ain beliefs, while haudin respect for an valuin the beliefs an perceptions o ithers.” (14) (emphasis addit)

31. Gin the English Leid 5-14 National Guidelines wis richt implementit, they wid achieve a guid puckle for social inclusion, an wid, it should be notit, encompass Gaelic, Scots an the community leids.

The Uiss in the Scots Pairlament o Languages ither nor Inglis

32. Efter darg done by the Pairlament’s Procedures Comatee, a language policy group wis convened. Their report wis considered by the Procedures Comatee an the Scots Pairlament Corporate Body that decidit that English an Gaelic will continue tae be the official leids o the Pairlament, tho Braille will be includit in the signage for the new Pairlament biggin.

Scots: A Statement O Principles

33. Follaein a recent forgaitherin o the Cross Pairty Group on the Scots Leid in the Scots Pairlament, the Meenister for Culture, Mike Watson MSP, indicatit that the knawledge an experience o memmers o the group micht mak the foonds o a strategy for the leid an that thon wid be o interest tae the Scots Executive. (15)

34. A uissfu inpit tae the oncome o sic a strategy is ongaun the noo, an the Cross Pairty Group howps tae launch its report, ‘Scots: A Statement o Principles’, early 2003.

Siccar Status

35. The maitter o siccar (or legal) status for Gaelic an Scots is ane that has attractit muckle attention in recent years wi the first Pairlamentary ettle tae legislate for Gaelic made in the Hoose o Commons in a Private Memmer’s Bill introduced by Donald Stewart in 1981. Comunn Na Gaidhlig an ither influential Gaelic bodies has backit ettles tae win tae legal recognition for the leid as a wey tae beild its uiss in sindry settins. Commitment tae siccar status wis promised by three o the fower main political pairties in the 1999 campaign.

Definition o Minority Languages

36. This Inquiry seeks tae tak in the leids o Scotland. Its scowth wis tae speir oot the role o educational an cultural policy in uphaudin an bringin oot Gaelic, Scots an minority leids in Scotland. Tae mak for clarity, whit is meant by the term “minority leids” needs defined.

37. The maist haill definition o regional an minority leids is contained in the European Chairter for Regional or Minority Leids an detailt in paragraph (17). Yon definition will be the tholepin o this report.

38. Sindry submissions argied that tae hae a richt inclusive language debate, communication systems for the visually an aurally impaired should be considered forby. Fae oot thae submissions, maist wis fashed aboot British Sign Leid (BSL). This report taks thir forms o communication intil its consideration o the leids o Scotland.


39. Fae the submissions ingaithered, it wid seem that no eneuch is bein done tae promote an tae bring intil the mainstream o education bilingualism an multilingualism. While in the promotion an teachin o Gaelic a meisure o success has been won til, Scots an the community leids appears tae hae been, sae faur, neglectit.

Whit wey is it important tae bring oot Bilingualism an Multilingualism?

40. Fae the submissions ingaithered, it is evident that monolingualism has been lookit on by British society as the orra standart. The perception has been that the teachin o leids forby English wid intromit wi the learnin o English.

41. Fae the submissions ingaithered, a wheen refers tae research done that hauds that the learnin o twa or mair leids maks for better cognitive an literary abilities an braidens the student’s ootlook on life.

42. Professor Richard Johnstone, in his submission, cites his ain research for the Scots Executive Education Depairtment on Gaelic-medium primary education. Ane o its findins shawed hoo, in national assessments for English Leid cairried oot in Primary 7, Gaelic-medium learnit bairns performed better than bairns learnit English by its lane. Similar, he cites research cairried oot in Italy. Researchers worked for a twalmonth wi twa groups o Italian Primary 1 pupils maikit for social backgrund. Ae group wis learnit ainly Standart Italian, the tither wis learnit Standart Italian wi a tait o English an a tait o their local dialect blendit intil the teachin. At the hin-end o the year, the group that had been learnit the three leids did better in a Standart Italian test nor the group that had been learnit Standart Italian by its lane.

43. Professor Johnstone hauds that multilingualism has been regairdit in different weys, e.g. as a “problem” or as a “richt” but that the maist productive wey tae regaird it is as a potential “resource” for education an the integration o diverse cultures intil Scottish society. Multilingualism should be seen as “the norm”, no monolingualism as the noo. In pairt, “Citizens o a Multilingual World” bears this oot. Professor Johnstone suggests that multilingualism doesna imply that awbody has tae be equally skeelie in ilk o his or her leids. Insteid, their levels o skeel in their different leids micht richtly vary accordin tae their needs an interests.

44. In its publication “A Vision an Mission for 2000-2005”, the Welsh Leid Board states that:

“There noo in Wales a general acceptance that bilingualism is o benefit tae individuals an communities. For individuals, bilingualism provides braider communication opportunities, giein access tae twa windaes on the world by bein bi-cultural, makkin for access tae twa literacies, upheezin sel-esteem, makkin for a siccar sense o identity an braidenin opportunities for employment. For communities, bilingualism gies continuity wi the past, cohesiveness for the present an a foont o collaborative endeavour for biggin the future.” (16)

45. Yon can be extendit tae multilingualism an the idea that individuals wid hae access tae mair opportunities oot-owre the world. It signals forby that a multilingual society could help tae provide cohesion inwith an atween communities an contribute tae a mair socially inclusive society.

46. This is the idea o multilingualism that stells the arguments presentit in support o Scots, Gaelic an community leids bein awned an uised in education an in culture.

47. Richtly Gaelic, Scots an community leids gets taen thegither as leids o Scotland for the purposes o this Inquiry. Hooanever, for the purposes o the neist pairt o the report, an ainly for the sake o clarity, each will get lookit at on their ain.


48. The feck o submissions in writin concentratit on the Scots leid. While mony submissions focused on Scots an the education system, it is clear that the weys that language is treatit inwith education an inwith culture is inextricably thirled. A want o awnin Scots in schuils will lead tae bruckleness for the leid. Screivers o the future will tyne the ability tae communicate in Scots. Gin cultural resources in Scots isnae produced ony mair for an by theatre, television, literature or poetry, syne reference will be tint an there will be derth o teachin maitter.

49. Clear fae the submissions wis concern that Scots is seen as inferior tae English. Aften quotit wis the example o a bairn gettin checked either by parent or teacher for uisin Scots, gettin tellt that this wis “slang” an no an acceptable wey tae speak. In mony submissions, the parallel wis drawn wi community leids whaur a body’s first leid is tae aw intent smoored.

50. As Professor Richard Johnstone states in his submission:

“There no muckle research in Scotland the noo on attitudes tae different leids, but sic as there is suggests thae attitudes whiles micht be confused an mistellt (wi mibbe personal or institutional racism skowkin in aboot the back o a puckle cases). Gin we wish tae think on policies for helpin gar public attitudes tae language be mair informed an mair positive, syne we need tae be meisurin systematic-like ony attitudinal chynges that occurs in fact.” (17)

51. The submissions pointit oot the need for Scots tae be gien official status an therefore richt recognition in public life. There wis concern that Scots has no eneuch awnin in either the education system nor in culture. It should be unnerstood an apprised that language is inbiggit intil cultural identity.

52. Scots has been designatit as a regional leid unner Pairt II o the European Chairter, no Pairt III whaur Gaelic is beildit. This, it is argied, means there no muckle onus or push tae implement ony specific meisures for education an culture, an it indicates that Scots is treatit as an inferior leid.

53. While it is awned that initiatives sic as the National Cultural Strategy has gane some road tae takkin forrit the ongaun debate aboot Scots, it is braidly greed that there little cohesion an that faur mair needs done.

54. J. Derrick McClure, Senior Lecturer in the Depairtment o English, University o Aiberdeen, in his paper tae “Leids Policy in the Isles”—a collogue tae launch the European Year o Leids in Scotland 2001—statit:

“The Scots leid, traditionally neglectit or actively doonhauden in the education system, has seen a fair dramatic turn-aroon in its fortunes in recent years. In chronological order, the follaein sib developments has taen place; a byordinar literary efflorescence, includin a corpus o brilliant, inventive an politically-inspired poetry; a major upheeze in the status o the leid as a field o academic research baith in its aulder an new forms; the increasin availability o published materials for research an teachin, maist notable bein the twa multi-volume Dictionaries an their aff-drawn works; a gallus effort tae better its status in the clessroom; an finally the proclaimed intent o the new Scots Pairlament tae gie active encouragement tae the leid. Hooanever, forby this, a howe o ignorance at baith popular an administrative levels has aye tae be confrontit; initiatives has been exercised maistly on an individual an antrin basis; an the Pairlament sae faur has failed tae bring oot, faur less promote, a coherent an practical policy designed tae encourage the leid an beild its status as a national leid o Scotland.” (18)

55. While mony o the submissions ingaithered awned that a meisure o credibility had been gien tae Scots in the Scots Executive’s National Cultural Strategy, the general feelin expressed wis that no muckle had been done tae turn the objectives intil practical reality.

56. There wis ae-twae individual swatches o a comprehensive policy on Scots, merkitly Angus Cooncil that has brocht oot a ‘Policy an Guidelines on the Scots Leid an Scottish Culture’.

57. Concern wis expressed tae that, forby the National Cultural Strategy an 5-14 Guidelines, Scots is no bein accordit its richt worth in schuils an the provision o it is puir tae say the least. Ower aften the leid doesna get includit in schuil in the weys awready statit by the 5-14 Curriculum Guidelines.

58. Maist times in the noo, teachin o Scots consists o studies o poetry in Scots (eg. Hugh MacDiarmid). Hooanever, accordin tae Matthew Fitt, Writer/Teacher, even gin Scots poems an vocabulary is uised in schuils, there neist tae nae explanation o whit particular words means an learnin is juist by rote.

59. The view expressed wis that this wis acause there were gey sma support for teachin Scots. Mony submissions acknawledged the “Kist” materials wrocht by Learnin an Teachin Scotland an the mair recently roadit Itchy Coo project but made the point that sic materials wis byordinar.

60. In his submission, Matthew Fitt states there gey few weys Scots is or can be teachit in the noo: (1) lippenin on the orra lane teacher takkin an interest in Scots, (2) lippenin on a teacher that has attendit an in-service aboot the Scots leid, an (3) lippenin on a teacher haein taen an interest in Scots syne haein made their ain teachin materials.

61. He cites ae example o a teacher, throu her ain interest, creatin an example o Scots-Medium Education (ie, teachin in Scots in the same wey as Gaelic in Gaelic- Medium Education):

“Morag an masel led the cless throu an exercise aboot alliteration. We spoke in Scots; we gied examples o alliteration in Scots; the bairns spoke back in Scots; the bairns wrote in their jotters in Scots. Whit wis dumfoonerin is that the lesson didna involve ony bletherin in English aboot whit Scots is or isna; the haill lesson wis conductit in Scots. When it wis feenished, Miss McKie clappit her hauns an tellt the cless they were gaun tae dae sums an that they were gaun tae speak in English. The cless chynged ower for the next oor (an the lave o the day) tae English. An they had nae bather distinguishin atween the twa leids.” (19)

62. Educational visits by bodies involvit in work on the Scots leid, while a valuable asset, is inconsistent, antrin, an should be taen as a braw addition, no as the lane experience pupils has o the leid. Sheena Blackhall, Creative Writer in Scots based at Aiberdeen University’s Elphinstane Institute, is ae sic an enthusiast that has visitit 66 rural an 39 urban schuils ower her last fower year in post. In her visits she has been,

“learnin bairns elementary Scots vocabulary an gien them hert tae screive an sing in Scots”. (20)

63. Forby Sheena Blackhall’s obvious belief in the guid o thae visits, she advocates the provision o free an sindry resources in the form o websites that can be uised tae heeze uiss an appreciation o Scots. The Elphinstane Kist is pit forrit as an example (21). The Elphinstane website will tak in ower 600 webpages o Scots material an a leet o ither institutions that works wi Scots Culture.

64. The want o tocher for Scots-leid projects an want o research intil Scots wis aften cited as a muckle problem. Mony contributors felt that this want o tocher an want o research could be attributit tae Scots bein held in sma esteem. The wey Scots is fundit compared tae the wey Gaelic is fundit wis gien as an example o this attitude. Gaelic gets tocher direct fae the Scots Executive Education Depairtment while tocher for Scots comes throu the Scottish Airts Cooncil. There a problem here for Scots projects that is educational in principle haein tae mak proposals for Airts siller.

65. The point is made forby that Gaelic receives a greater amoont o tocher nor Scots. For instance the Scots Leid Resource Centre gets gien a core grant o £25,000 per annum juist; faur less nor its Gaelic coonterpairt.

66. In his submission, Paul H Scott, President, The Saltire Society, maks the point aboot want o tocher for the Scots Leid Resource Centre forby an mentions the want o tocher for the Scottish National Dictionary Association (noo Scots Leid Dictionaries (SLD)).

67. While mony contributors tae the debate compared the situation for Scots wi that for Gaelic, this disparity in tocherin doesna point tae an owerfundin o Gaelic (as this report will shaw there is aye problems forenent Gaelic education) but tae a chronic unnerfundin o Scots.

68. Mony submissions suggests that research an linguistic study should be cairried oot intil Scots but that want o tocher an want o awnin has made this gey sair tae achieve. Wi debate surroondin the uiss o Scots it could be argied that it is aw the mair important tae cairry oot research an a linguistic study tae provide answers tae thir problems. Some thinks that a report wi substance like that o the MacPherson report, “Gaelic: Revitalisin Gaelic a National Asset”, should be cairried oot for Scots. (22)

69. Afore strang an specific recommendations can be developed tae uphaud Scots, Professor Johnstone doots that,

“mair information fae research an ither sources will be needit than is tae haund for decision-makars the noo.” (23)

70. Some research projects is currently bein cairried oot, notably SCOTLANG, based at Scottish CILT, University o Stirling. Yon project is concerned wi makkin a national infrastructure for research intil language education an uiss an is tochered by the Scottish Higher Education Fundin Cooncil. SCOTLANG has generatit six specific projects, ane bein “Mappin the leids o Edinburgh” bein cairried oot by Joanna McPake. This ettles tae estaiblish whit 12-year-auld pupils in Edinburgh secondary schuils perceives tae be the leids (modern foreign, heritage, community, etc.) that they think they ken an whaur they hae acquired them, e.g. hame, community, schuil or ithergates.

71. As pairt o ony research, it is argied that statistics should be gaithered anent hoo mony folk speaks Scots. Currently, the ainly statistics that is available is for Gaelic, no for Scots nor for community leids. In his submission, Dr Dauvit Horsbroch, Honorar Research Cheil, Institute o Irish an Scottish Studies Aiberdeen University, cites the non-inclusion o Scots in the 2001 Census as an opportunity missed as weel as Scots bein uised, in his opinion, “as a political fitba.” Dr Dauvit Horsbroch argies, tae, that there a want o unnerstaunin o whit can be cried “Scots”. In his submission, he talks o the need tae ken the difference atween speakin Scots an uisin Scots words in English:

“Mony memmers (o the Scots Pairlament) appearinly think that uisin a word or twa fae the leid coonts as speakin in Scots. It wid be nae mair the case gin a body speakin English uised the Gaelic Slainte Mhath an claimed tae be speakin in Gaelic an therefore uisin the leid.” (24)

72. Apparent fae the submissions is that there some debate ower whit maks for “Scots”. As pointit oot by P H Scott, President, The Saltire Society,

“Scots baith benefits an taks skaith frae the fact that it shares sib origin, forby muckle sib vocabulary, wi English. The sibness is geyan like that atween the Scandic Leids, or atween Dutch an German, or atween thae o Latin origin.” (25)

73. This report doesna seek tae kinnle yon debate ony mair or tae express a definitive view o whit maks the Scots leid. The debate is mentioned tae point oot a wheen difficulties that micht be experienced. For this report it will be eneuch that Scots is awned as a leid unner the European Chairter for Regional an Minority Leids that has been ratified by the UK Government.

74. Forby sindry opinions as tae the definition o “Scots”, the submissions wis unanimous in the view that it wis essential for Scots tae be awned, incorporatit an gien validation in schuils sae as tae beild the leid an promote mair unnerstaunin o Scotland’s cultural heritage.

75. As wis statit in paragraph (48), education an culture is inextricably thirled. Haein a national theatre for Scotland is regairdit by mony folk as an essential pairt in allouin Scots tae flooer. A wheen o the submissions wis fashed that the political will tae introduce a national theatre for Scotland, as pledged in the National Cultural Strategy, wis dwinin. The process has been fair lang, but a Steerin Group stellt by the Scottish Airts Cooncil has been convened tae advise on plans for the theatre an a timetable tae launch.

76. In summary, the submissions ingaithered has pointit oot sindry difficulties an has proponed sindry solutions tae the problem o the awnin an promotion o Scots. Thir solutions taks in:

• increased tocher for the Scots leid an for that tocher tae come direct fae the Scots Executive Education Depairtment.

• cairryin oot research intil the uiss o Scots wi an on-follaein statistical analysis.

• provision o mair in-service trainin for teachers an emphasis on Scots throu Professional Oncome.

• upsteer multilingualism an hae the readin an screivin o Scots learnit fae Primary 1 forrit.

• provision o mair material in Scots for schuils.

• awnin o Scots unner Pairt III o the European Chairter (altho it wis awned that this is a reserved maitter).

• speir oot the possibility o introducin a standart orthography.

• provide mair television an radio programmes in Scots.

• aye tae work towards the estaiblishment o a National Theatre o Scotland.

• consideration by the Scots Executive o The Cross Pairty Group’s Statement o Principles.

77. Oweraw, thir concerns an solutions can be distilled doon tae the ae solution, suggestit by mony submissions, simply that there needs tae be a cohesive National Leids Policy. It is awned that a muckle amoont o preparatory work wid need done afore introducin sic a policy, but the owerwhelmin view is that a co-ordinatit, systematic approach is the brawest solution tae the problems pointit oot.


78. No sae mony submissions wis received on Gaelic as on Scots. Appearinly there a perception that Gaelic has been awned in Scotland in a wey that Scots an Community leids hasna. Wi the innin o Gaelic-Medium Education, the appointment o twa Gaelic pairlamentary officers and, symbolically, signage in the Scots Pairlament, the situation for Gaelic is gey different fae that for the ither leids.

79. That said, the submissions wis gey clear that awnin o Scots an minority leids should no be done tae the skaith o Gaelic. Insteid, thir leids should aw co-exist an hae equal status as the leids o Scotland.

80. It is evident that a wecht o work has been done tae promote Gaelic. In a recent flochter o activity, the Meenisterial Advisor Group on Gaelic made siccar status the first recommendation o its report in June 2002, an a Memmer’s Bill seekin a gey limitit siccar status in the area o public administration wis introduced tae the Scots Pairlament in November 2002, an baith o thae hae served tae bring back intil the public ee issues surroondin the rekinnlin o Gaelic. Hooanever, there wis concern that mair aye needs daein.

81. Giein a thocht tae the weys neibourin nations hains thair ain heritage leids can help tae shaw up some o the wants in Scotland’s haunlin o Gaelic.

82. In Wales, a Welsh Leid Board wis estaiblished by statute in 1993 an the board produced a Strategy for the Welsh leid in 1996. It has sinsyne published “A Vision an Mission for 2000-2005” that ootlines the achievements won til in the promotion o the Welsh leid, bilingualism an Welsh-Medium Education an sets oot its priorities an timetable for the future. In its paper, the Board states:

“Nae minority leids in the world will survive unless there some deliberate language plannin. Ae reason that the Welsh leid has jouked the world trend is doon tae considerable efforts by sindry organisations an individuals tae plan for language beildin an giein the Welsh leid mair virr.”

83. Alang wi makkin traditional materials in Welsh available, the Welsh Leid Board has pit their haun tae the production o “Cysill”, a Welsh leid spellin an grammar-checkin saftware package, guidance on bilingual signs an oncome o Welsh leid CD-ROMs. The Board sets oot its vision for Welsh-Medium Education an bilingual education oot-throu primary, secondary an higher education an ootthrou life-lang learnin an is speirin at expandin the uiss o Welsh in the private sector forby, theretil heezin employment opportunities.

84. While the situation in Wales is cited as a straucht comparison wi the situation for Gaelic in Scotland, note should be taen that mony o the submissions hauds that strategies should be creatit for Gaelic an Scots. A Leids Bill for Scotland that made siccar that the chief leids o Scotland wis haunled on the basis o equality (the definition applied tae the Welsh an the English in the Welsh Leid Act) micht be a braider road forrit an ane that could enlist support fae Scots speakers forby Gaelic speakers.

85. Comparison wis made wi Ireland an the provision alloued for Irish Gaelic forby. While there has been a determined movement tae uphaud the leid in Ireland, ae submission pointit oot there ainly the ane aw-Gaelic schuil in Scotland. Tae mak shair o the beildin o the leid in Scotland it wis felt that the nummer o young folk that comes intae contact wi Gaelic throu preschuil education should be maximised an that this should be extendit tae Secondary education.

86. The submission fae Norma McLeod, Acair Ltd, pointit oot the need for increased tocher for Gaelic publishin sae that Gaelic speakers can enjoy the screivit word in the same wey that English speakers does. She hauds that initiatives in Gaelic education will no come tae fruit unless screivit materials is mair readily available. She cites the example o Gaelic-Medium Education whaur she hauds that there no eneuch books. An interestin point wis made that learnin bairns in a particular leid will help serve tae save that leid.

87. The like concerns wis raised in connection wi Scots an the want o teachin materials tae haun, awbeit in the context o no haein a formal teachin structure.

88. There a guid deal o endorsement for mair exposure tae the leid. In a submission tae the Gaelic Broadcastin Inquiry, Alasdair Morrison MSP jaloused that,

“Broadcastin is o tap importance tae the maintenance an oncome o Gaelic.

An increased level o broadcastin in Gaelic wid hae braw advantages for the Gaelic-speakin population an for the future o the leid.” (26)

89. BBC Scotland brocht tae the attention o this Inquiry an extract fae their earlier submission tae the National Cultural Strategy debate for Gaelic:

“The weys we live oor lives has chynged tae the skaith o verbal communication, an gin we are tae seriously stap decline an upheeze lastin an meaninfu language oncome, estaiblished theory an practice maun be challenged an strategy, appropriate an workable in oor times, pit thegither.” (27)

90. Sae mony voices has expressed concern anent ongaun uiss an attitudes tae oor national heritage leids that it is necessar tae finn a new an innovative road tae language oncome an uphaud.

91. Gaelic, aye in a bruckle state, needs faur mair tae be done tae beild the leid. An interestin point wis made comparin Gaelic wi Community leids. Altho gey little is bein done for the promotion o Community leids in Scotland, they are no like tae dee sen they get spoken in mony anither country. Gin Scotland doesna beild Gaelic, wha else will?

92. Recurrin issues fae the submissions taks in:

• a want o cohesion in policy terms wi regaird tae Gaelic.

• the need for mair resources tae be made available, in particular for teachin materials.

• an ee tae the extension o Gaelic-Medium Education.

93. Thir concerns an proponed solutions could be addressed throu a cohesive National Leids Policy forby, sen the owerwhelmin view is that a coordinatit, systematic road forrit is the brawest solution tae the problems pointit oot.

Community Leids

94. Paragraph (17) o this report focused on the definition o “minority” or “community” leids, an the European Chairter wis quotit. At this point it is uissfu tae consider definitions uised by the Scots Executive.

95. The Scots Executive hauds that there nae staundin definition o “minority leids” that reference is routinely made tae. Anent the National Cultural Strategy, the Executive intendit the document tae refer tae aw leids uised in Scotland (intakkin BSL). It mibbe wid be helpfu tae mind on the leet o leids that Executive documents is owerset intil: Gaelic, Urdu, Punjabi, Bengali, Chinese an Arabic.

96. Immediately apparent fae the submissions ingaithered is the similarities atween prevailin attitudes tae Community leids an tae Scots. A submission fae Hilary McColl, Educational Consultant, expressed the perception that learnin anither leid, or makkin provision for the uphaud o community leids, will intromit wi the learnin o English. This aye relates tae the idea that monolingualism is the acceptit “norm”. The Centre for Education for Racial Equality in Scotland (CERES) doots that there a “want o appreciation o bilingualism”. (28)

97. The same want o statistical data exists for Community leids as exists for Scots. Ower an ower in submissions the point wis made that folk speakin a Community leid is flyted at insteid o the education system giein respect tae an makkin provision for leids ither nor English. It is worth haudin in mind that mony bairns that speaks a community leid micht weel be trilingual, no bilingual, for in addition tae their community leid they micht speak a dialect o Scots forby English in the pleygroup an the local community. Their trilingualism does gie the education system a challenge, but it is mair productive tae regaird this challenge as a “resource” tae be biggit on raither nor a “problem” tae be reddit oot.

98. Hilary McColl awns that resources are no infinite but says:

“the nummer o leids we can mak richt provision for is likely limitit, but tae gie aw leids respect costs nae siller at aw.”

99. Tae haud forrit wi the notion o monolingualism micht be regairdit in effect as a smoorin o Community leids, an micht be a kind o institutionalised discrimination for aw that. A literate bilingual capacity that is no nurtured an encouraged is a resource skailed.

100. As wi Scots, a wheen submissions addressed the issue o want o formal teachin in Community leids. Ongaun provision wis flyted at for bein puir. As an example o this, it wis emphasised that Standart Grade arrangements ainly raxed tae Urdu. Tho there a hantle promisin individual initiatives, there a want o cohesive policy anent Community leid provision.

101. Ae submission sets oot a vision for a wey forrit in the uphaudin o Community leids:

“Gien the range o community leids in Scotland an the spreid oot nature o the populations that speaks them, it is no reasonable tae expect schuils tae provide X-medium education on demand for aw community leids as is the case wi Scottish Gaelic.........Hooanever, in order tae benefit the bairn (let alane maintain the speech community), it will be important tae find new an excitin weys o helpin bairns fae diverse language communities tae access an haud ontil their community leid.” (29)

102. Edinburgh City Cooncil currently uphauds community leid clesses that taks place at the weekends or efter schuil oors. The clesses uphauden in the noo is Chinese, Urdu, Bengali, Punjabi, Arabic an Persian. This uphaud taks the form o provision o accommodation in schuils an community centres an siller for teachers’ salaries. Aroon 500 learners is enrolled in thir clesses.

103. The Education Depairtment o Edinburgh City Cooncil hauds that their support o Community leid clesses is ae wey o makkin shair o accordance wi priority three o the Standarts in Scotland’s Schuils Act 2000, defined as ablow:

“Tae promote equality an help ilka pupil benefit fae education, wi particular regaird peyed tae pupils wi disabilities an.....tae Gaelic an ither lesser-uised leids.” (30)

104. Edinburgh City Cooncil forby cites an example o ither roads tae accreditation in, for example, Chinese. Altho there nae Standart Grade in Chinese, students has been pit forrit for GCSE an ‘A’ Level throu Edexcel in London. Similar, wi the want o Higher Urdu tae follae on fae the Standart Grade, students in Urdu has been pit forrit throu Edexcel tae.

105. While awnin thir advances, the submissions ingaithered pointit oot gaps in the provision cycle. The limitit supply o teachers for aw Community leids an thewant o career opportunities for fluent speakers o Community leids wis offered as examples.

106. While mony submissions did caw for an expandit provision o efter-schuil clesses or informal networks, there wis concern that unless the teachin o community leids is introduced intil mainstream schuils, syne education could become segregatit. The situation could arise whaur, for example, Urdu is ainly learnit in Muslim schuils. The haill idea o language oncome should be foondit on social inclusion. As statit in the Meenisterial Action Group in Leids publication “Citizens o a Multilingual World”:

“as hauds wi ongaun attitudes favourin ethnic diversity an social justice, it will be important tae provide opportunities for linguistic oncome an accreditation for them that wishes tae continue or tae bring oot their skeels in a heritage or community leid.” (31)

107. Concerns wis raised that awin tae the want o recognition for community leids in education an culture, bairns whase first tongue is no English will try tae smoor their first tongue sae as no tae be lookit on as ‘different’, their perception bein that their community leid is inferior tae English. The argument is syne pit forrit that mainstreamin the teachin o Community leids will upheeze the status o thae leids an, in turn, the smeddum an the sense o belangin o bairns whase first leid is a Community leid.

108. As wi earlier submissions anent Scots an Gaelic, mony submissions receivit on Community leids pointit tae the need for a cohesive leids policy. John Landon, Senior Lecturer an Heid o the Depairtment o Education Studies at Edinburgh University, writin on behauf o the Centre for Education for Racial Equality in Scotland (CERES) says:

“There has been a want o jyned-up policy that sees the connections atween provision for Gaelic, modern European leids, Scots, ethnic minority community leids an BSL an their contribution tae the definition o Scotland as a multilingual an multicultural society. Integration o initiatives is best won til wi the oncome o a Leids Policy for Scotland (see Australia an Sooth Africa), that estaiblishes an orra framewark for the bringin oot o the leids o Scotland an for their provision in education, local government an ither public sectors.” (32)

109. In summary, fae the submissions ingaithered, it is thocht important tae:

• promote mair the idea o bilingualism an multilingualism;

• provide trainin for teachers throu professional oncome an initial teacher education on Community leids;

• speir at weys that folk can access an uphaud their Community leids;

• mak shair that folk gets alloued access eneuch tae their leid an culture.

110. Thir concerns an answers proponed could aye be addressed throu a cohesive National Leids Policy, since the owerwhelmin view is that a coordinatit, systematic road forrit is the best answer tae the problems pointit oot.

British Sign Leid (BSL)

111. Concerns surroondin social inclusion that are o fair significance tae them that works in Community Leids, are o unco consequence tae them that advocates better awnin o BSL forby.

112. In her presentation tae the Cross Pairty Group on Deefness, “Current Issues inwith Deef Education in Scotland”, Dr Mary Brennan o the University o Edinburgh says:

“We maun tak an inclusive road tae language in Deef Education: this will mean takkin in the leid o the Deef Community, British Sign Leid (BSL) as weel as the written leids in the bairn’s community. This means haein a positive attitude tae baith – or aw – o the relevant leids.

Deef pupils hae the richt o access tae education in their preferred leid – an the richt tae hae the foond for makkin sic a choice (i.e. waitin on a bairn gettin tae be seeven year auld, or ten, or sixteen, afore offerin BSL means giein nae choice). (33) While it is awned that the availability o BSL has improved, there aye concerns aboot want o materials, want o awnin in the formal education system an want o resources.”

113. Dr Mary Brennan asks that deef bairns should hae access tae the haill o the curriculum an no juist waled elements. The recently passed Education (Disability Strategies an Pupils’ Educational Records) (Scotland) Act that will gar aw education providers mak an accessibility strategy, should be able tae lichten some o the problems. Hooanever, Dr Mary Brennan asks for BSL an deef studies tae be includit as subjects in their ain richt forby. This wid no necessarily be taen in by the Act.

114. Anither concern wis that even tho BSL could be made available tae deef bairns, it is no awned as a richt subject for study by pupils that has their hearin in the formal education system. (34) This is perceivit as missin an opportunity, particularly as there a national want o signers. It has been proponed, in common wi ither Community leids, that BSL should be inbiggit intil mainstream education an taen oot o Special Educational Needs. This wid gang some road tae reddin oot stigmas an allou aw bairns tae get the benefit o the learnin o different leids. It is encouragin tae learn that in a wheen primary schuils, elements o BSL are learnit tae aw bairns as pairt o their general language education. This is o benefit no juist acause it helps bairns growe mair awaur o leids as a means o human communication but acause o the social inclusion it promotes forby.

115. The owerairchin message fae the submissions is:

• a review o the role o BSL in schuils maun be considered.

116. This again could be addressed throu a cohesive National Leids Policy, since the owerwhelmin view is that a co-ordinatit, systematic road forrit is the brawest answer tae the problems pointit oot.


117. The recommendations for Scots, Gaelic, the Community leids an BSL can be summarised as follaes:

118. Promote bilingualism an multilingualism insteid o monolingulism, wi tent for the intellectual an economic benefits o sic an approach an the benefits in bringin aboot a mair diverse an inclusive society. Wi centres o economic pouer flittin tae non-English speakin countries sic as China, multilingualism will growe mair an mair important. Globalisation, population mobility, the technological revolution an the ootcomin o “new mercats” means that sma countries maun bring oot skeels tae fit intil neuk mercats. Language has a strang pairt tae play in this.

119. Increase tocher for initiatives tae uphaud an promote Scots, Gaelic, the Community leids an BSL sae helpin tae validate the status o the various leids o Scotland. (35)

120. Provide mair in-service teacher-trainin on the leids o Scotland an mak shair that the subject is pairt o initial teacher education an professional oncome.

121. Provide access tae mair material in the sindry leids o Scotland sae as tae complement better teacher trainin.


122. The conclusions tae be drawn for Scots, Gaelic, the Community leids an BSL is:

• This report concludes by sayin that the mony questions an concerns anent the leids o Scotland an their place in education an culture can ainly be richt dealt wi throu makkin a inclusive, cohesive Leids Policy.

• For tae mak siccar the oncome o a satisfactory Policy, research, consultation an reportin needs tae be cairried oot tae gaither muckle mair information on the specific needs o ilk leid than is tae haund the noo.


• Scots Executive: Meenisterial Action Group on Languages (2000) Citizens of a Multilingual World; Tactica Solutions

• Lairnin an Teachin Scotland (2000) Education for Citizenship in Scotland A Paper for Discussion and Consultation

• CERES (1999) Bilingualism, Community Languages and Scottish Education: a challenge for policy makers and practitioners in a devolved Scotland; Moray House, University o Edinburgh.

• Commission for Racial Equality (2001) The General Duty to Promote Racial Equality Guidance for public authorities on their obligations under the Race Relations (Amendment) Act 2000; Belmont Press

• Scots Executive (2000) Creating Our Future: Minding Our Past, The National Cultural Strategy; Tactica Solutions

• Scots Consultative Cooncil on the Curriculum (1999) The School Curriculum and the Culture of Scotland A Paper for Discussion and Consultation

• The Scots Office Education Depairtment (1991) Curriculum and Assessment in Scotland, National Guidelines ENGLISH LANGUAGE 5-14

• The Scots Office Education Department (1993) Curriculum and Assessment in Scotland, National Guidelines GAELIC 5-14

• Scots Executive Education Depairtment (1999) The Attainments of Pupils Receiving Gaelic-medium Primary Education in Scotland; Scots CILT: University o Stirling

• Commission for Racial Equality in Scotland (2000) Annual Report

• Cooncil o Europe (1992) European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages; European Treaty Series – No. 148

• Craddol, D (1998) Will English Be Enough? London: Nuffield Language Inquiry

• LoBianco, J L (2001) Language and Literacy Policy in Scotland

• Welsh Language Board (2000) A Vision and Mission for 2000-2005

1 Spokesbodies fae the Scottish Centre for Information on Language Teachin an Research (Scottish CILT, University o Stirlin) an Commission for Racial Equality (CRE) wis seen an wis speired questions.
2 Graddol, D. (1998) Will English be enough? London: Nuffield Languages Inquiry. In "where are we going with languages?"
3 “The principal aim o SCOTLANG is tae help estaiblish a national infrastructure tae enhance, rax (tae ither sites) an co-ordinate Scotland’s capability for tap-quality research on the uiss, learnin an teachin o, an societal an sectoral attitudes tae, modern foreign leids.” Taen fae Scottish CILT,
4 LoBianco, J.L (2001) Language and Literacy Policy in Scotland; preammle
5 LoBianco, J.L.(2001) Language and Literacy Policy in Scotland. p78
6 Scots Executive – National Cultural Strategy, First Report 25 October 2001
7 European Chairter for Regional an Minority Leids
8 Thae guidelines taks tent an aw that Scots haes a fouth mair speakers, tho they’re no systematically qualified”. Owerset frae Scots Executive “Citizens of a Multilingual World” Rationale p7.
9 Scots Executive: “Citizens of a Multilingual World”
10 Scottish Executive: “Citizens of a Multilingual World”
11 Scots Office Education Depairtment Curriculum an Assessment in Scotland National Guidelines English Language 5-14
12 Scots Office Education Depairtment: Curriculum an Assessment in Scotland National Guidelines English Language 5-14
13 ibid
14 ibid
15 Forgaitherin o the Scots CPG, 10 September 2002
16 Welsh Language Board: “A Vision an Mission for 2000-2005”
17 Submission fae Professor Richard Johnstone
18 Languages Policy in the Isles: Paper by J. Derrick McClure
19 Submission fae Matthew Fitt
20 Submission fae Sheena Blackhall
21 Submission frae Sheena Blackhall
22 Gaelic: Revitalisin Gaelic a National Asset, Sept. (2000)
23 Submission fae Professor Richard Johnstone
24 Submission fae Dr Dauvit Horsbroch
25 Submission fae P H Scott, Preses o The Saltire Society
26 Fae Paper anent Gaelic Broadcastin for the Gaelic Braidcastin Inquiry by Alasdair Morrison, ED/01/22/4
27 Fae submission by BBC Scotland.
28 Submission fae CERES
29 Submission fae Professor Richard Johnstone
30 Fae submission by The City o Edinburgh Cooncil, Depairtment o Education.
31 Scots Executive: “Citizens o a Multilingual World”
32 Submission frae John Landon, on the pairt o CERES
33 Current Issues inwith Deef Education in Scotland – Dr Mary Brennan, University o Edinburgh
34 Note should be taen that no aw folk wi impaired hearin uises BSL
35 Mr Brian Monteith registered his dissension fae paragraph 119 on the groonds that the paragraph contains a commitment tae increased fundin

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Scottish Parliament: Report on Inquiry intil the role o educational and cultural policy (Scots)


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