In 2013, an audit of Additional Support Needs and Staff training in Gaelic Medium Education was commissioned by Bord Na Gaidhlig with funding support from Scottish Government.

This audit resulted in raising the profile of the topic, the organization of a conference, development of assessment tools and production of a collection of papers written by specialist teachers, allied health professionals and psychologists.

The Collective Resource Document is available as a PDF for download at this location.


The recommendations of the audit informed the deliberations of a multi disciplinary working group set up to focus on collaborative approaches to resource development and chaired by the AHP National Lead for Children and Families.

Stòrlann as the national body for resource development in Gaelic, through its chief executive on the group, assumed managerial responsibilities for the following interlinked developments concerned with the management of Additional Support Needs in Gaelic Medium Education:

  • organization of a major conference at Edinburgh University in June 2014 on the management of Additional Support Needs in a bilingual context with specialist speakers on this subject
  • raising the national profile of this topic through the provision of specialist training events for teachers at the national Alltan conference in October 2014
  • contributing to the initiation of research covering the development of new assessment tools in Gaelic language with a major project in process
  • collating papers and related resources, drawing on these initiatives, to form this online Handbook for practitioners from the range of disciplines concerned with Additional Support Needs in bilingual education

The Collective Resource Document is designed to provide easy access to online information about the policy context underpinning the provision of bilingual education together with collaborative approaches to the assessment of pupil need, and the development of teacher focused strategies to tackle these.

Particular attention is focused on the cumulative evidence detailing the cognitive benefits of bilingual education and the need to develop a range of robust research and evaluative initiatives on this topic in Scotland incorporating active cross referencing to developments in other relevant language groups.


ASN-SLT Conference 2014 Videos

Dr John Ravenscroft

DW Morrison

John Angus MacKay

Jane Reid

Archie MacLullich

Dr Enlli Mon Thomas

Dr Fiona Lyon / Dr Sarah MacQuarrie

Dr Morag Donaldson

Kim Hartley

Sue MacDonald

Dr Carolyn Letts / Dr Indra Sinka


Photo - Children playing
Làimhseachadh Feumalachdan
Taic a Bharrachd...

Project Contributors

Dr John Ravenscroft

Dr John Ravenscroft

Deputy Head of School/Senior Lecturer, Education, Teaching and Leadership (ETL), Edinburgh University/ Deputy Head of Moray House School of Education.

John Ravenscroft’s first degree was in Psychology and he then became very interested in Cognition, Language and especially Child Language.

He did a Masters degree in Philosophy and Psychology of Language, which led to an interest in Ontology and Cognition, particularly Primate Cognition and Primate Thought.

John lived for some time in New Zealand, Japan, and Mongolia. Upon his return to the UK he worked for several years in the Psychology department and the Parapsychology department at Edinburgh University.

He then became the manager of Visual Impairment Scotland, and created the first UK child visual impairment notification system.

He has also been the Head of the Scottish Sensory Centre and during this tenure he wrote a PhD on Primate Thought, and also went to Australia for 18 months to the Royal Institute for Deaf and Blind Children to develop and create Australia’s first visual impairment notification system.

Upon his return he became Deputy Head of Department for Educational Studies, and is currently the Head of Institute for Education, Teaching & Leadership (ETL).

Archie macLullich

Archie MacLullich

Consultant Psychologist

The late Archie MacLullich had a professional background in education, social work and psychology.

He had direct client service experience as an educational psychologist and teacher in specialist residential care.

His management experience included 20 years at senior and directorate level at the Scottish Office Social Work Services Group and Social Work departments in Glasgow and Edinburgh.

Archie trained with the Tavistock and Scottish Institutes of Human Relations and at Glasgow University.

His most recent involvement was in the provision of consultancy and executive supervision.

Archie had a specialist interest in autism, bilingualism and attachment difficulties in children and adults.

He was native Gaelic speaker with equal appreciation of the beauty of the Hebrides and of the Swiss mountains and lakes.

Photo - Children playing

Kim Hartley

Kim Hartley

Royal College of Speech and Language Therapy Policy Officer 

Kim has been the Scotland officer for the Royal College of Speech & Language Therapists since 1999.
Kim promotes the interests of SLTs and their clients in Scotland’s government and parliament.

She leads on all RCSLT campaigns in Scotland in partnership with user organisations and other key stakeholders.

Current campaign work is focused on stroke, justice, communication disability generally, children and young people’s agenda, and workforce issues including AHP leadership and the integration of Health and Social Care.

Kim graduated as an SLT in 1988 and before her current post worked as an SLT for adults with learning disability, a health project manager in Edinburgh and Scottish parliamentary researcher.

Dr Fiona Lyon

Dr Fiona Lyon

Dyslexia Specialist / ASN Principal Teacher, East Renfrewshire Council

For the past 12 years Dr Lyon, a Chartered Teacher, has been in charge of ASN at Our Lady of the Missions Primary and delivers in-service training in ASN to teachers in East Renfrewshire.

Dr Lyon conducted research into Gaelic reading development for her Masters degree and took this research further by studying the development of phonological awareness in Gaelic.

After gaining a PhD from the University of Strathclyde, GL Assessment published the screening tool, Gaelic Phonological Screening Test, Deuchainn Fuaimneachadh Gàidhlig which Dr Lyon created as part of her research. Dr Lyon continues to research issues relating to early literacy in Gaelic.

Dr Fiona O'Hanlon

Dr Fiona O'Hanlon

Soillse Research Fellow, University of Edinburgh

Fiona O’Hanlon is Soillse Research Fellow at the University of Edinburgh and is a Board member of Bòrd na Gàidhlig.

Her research interests include Gaelic and Welsh-medium education, public attitudes to Gaelic, and Gaelic in the census.

She will be based at Moray House School of Education, The University of Edinburgh, from August 2014.

Photo - Boy using a computer tablet

Prof Catriona Morrison

Prof Catriona Morrison

Head of Psychology Department, University of Bradford

Catriona Morrison has an MA from the University of Glasgow and a DPhil from the University of York.

She has lectured at Cardiff University, the Robert Gordon University, the University of Leeds and Heriot-Watt University.

Her research specialisms are mainly in language and memory research, including language and memory development and issues relating to changes in cognition across the lifespan.

Her current work on memory includes music and memory, and, along with colleagues at City University in London, has collated a large database of memories of The Beatles. In addition, she has interests in memory accuracy and super memory.

She has published on diverse topics including internet addiction and depression.

She is a former Secretary and Chair of the British Psychological Society (BPS) Cognitive Section.

Enlli Thomas

Dr Enlli Thomas

Senior Lecturer Bangor University/Executive Member ESRC Centre for Research on Bilingualism in Theory and Practice 

Enlli Thomas is a Senior Lecturer in Education and co-Director of the Centre for Research on Bilingualism.

She is a leading expert in children's acquisition of Welsh, and her research interests include first language acquisition, bilingual acquisition, language in bilingual education, minority language use, cognitive attainments in bilinguals, and language assessment.

She is co-author of the Prawf Geirfa Cymraeg, a standardised Welsh language receptive vocabulary test, and was project lead on the adaptation of the Cognitive Abilities Task 4 for GL Assessment.

She has published widely within her field and is co-editor of the recent volume "Advances in the Study of Bilingualism".

Jane Reid

Jane Reid

AHP National Lead for Children & Young People, Scottish Government

Jane was AHP National Lead for Children & Young People, Scottish Government and worked at national, regional and local levels to provide leadership and direction for the AHP workforce within an inter-professional and inter-agency environment and to ensure that policies and guidance are embedded and utilised in practice.

She developed and supported strategic networks nationally, regionally and locally to ensure sharing of best practice and succession planning for AHPs working with children and young people.

She was also Chair of AHP Children and Young Peoples forum and worked to facilitate implementation of Government policy nationally. Jane influenced policy and operational direction for AHPs working with children and young people.

Sarah MacQuarrie

Dr Sarah MacQuarrie

Lecturer, Psychology of Education, Manchester University  

Dr MacQuarrie is a lecturer in psychology of education at the Manchester Institute of Education, University of Manchester.

Prior to this she held a research post at the University of the Highlands and Islands.

Dr MacQuarrie’s research is focused on the application of psychology in education and considers the relationship between theory and practice and investigates ways to support the implementation of research based practice.

Research interests span topics such as peer interaction (inside and outside the classroom), teachers’ professional development and bilingual learners.

Dr Morag Donaldson

Dr Morag Donaldson

Senior Lecturer, Psychology Department, Edinburgh University

Morag Donaldson is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences at the University of Edinburgh.

Her main research and teaching interests are in children’s spoken language development.

She has conducted research projects on such topics as the role of speech and language therapists in the education of pupils with additional support needs, children with language impairments’ ability to produce causal explanations, and preschool children’s acquisition of Gaelic grammar.

She is a Gaelic learner – learning from her mother who is a native speaker, from attending courses and through singing with Lothian Gaelic Choir.

Dr Carolyn Letts

Dr Carolyn Letts

Senior Lecturer, Newcastle University:  Education, Communication and Language Sciences 

Carolyn Letts is a senior lecturer at Newcastle University and also a qualified speech and language therapist (SLT).

She has a BA in French and Linguistics from Bangor University and a PhD in clinical linguistics from the University of Reading.

Her first SLT post was in North Wales, where she developed a lifelong interest in working with bilingual children.

She has been involved in networking groups looking at bilingual language acquisition and impairment in both the UK and the EU.

She worked with others to develop the New Reynell Developmental Language Scales, published 2011, and is currently working on developing proposals for further research on second language acquisition in children.

She is also, since September 2013, Director of Postgraduate Research in the School of Education, Communication & Language Sciences, Newcastle University.

Indra Sinka

Dr Indra Sinka

Staff Tutor (Education) / Senior Lecturer, The Open University

Indra Sinka is a senior lecturer in the Faculty of Education and Language Studies at The Open University, and spent 2007–2010 as Associate Dean.

She is bilingual in English and Latvian. After her first degree and PGCE, she was in post for a number of years in schools as an English teacher and Head of English.

Subsequently she completed her Master’s and doctoral degrees and became a lecturer and researcher in linguistics, English Language Teaching, deafness, bilingualism and clinical linguistics, as well as project manager and co-author of the RDLS III.

In 2000–2004, she worked as an international consultant with the Latvian Education Ministry to help develop Latvia’s new national curriculum for schools.

Her specialism lies in child language acquisition and bilingualism, and she has published and given conference papers in this field both in the UK and internationally.

Indra holds a BA in German and Drama from Exeter University and an MA in Applied Linguistics and PhD in Psycholinguistics from the University of Reading.

Dr Sean Pert

Dr Sean Pert

Senior Lecturer in Language Therapy, Senior Lecturer in SLT (TF), The University of Manchester

Sean is a speech and language therapist with over 20 years’ experience in the NHS. He has worked as a specialist speech and language therapist, service manager and student co-ordinator. Clinically he has worked with:

  • Children with severe speech and language impairments
  • Bilingual children
  • Trans adults on voice and communication change

Sean is interested in evidence-based practice and how to apply evidence in real clinical situations.

He currently works as Senior Lecturer (Teaching Focused) Speech and Language at the University of Manchester.

Sue MacDonald

Sue MacDonald

Manager, ASN Services, Comhairle Nan Eilean Siar

Learning Focus: to examine a model of inter-disciplinary casework in an island setting incorporating educational,
speech and language therapy, and child psychiatric services.

Photo - Children lying on the ground looking through their opened hands

Donald Morrison

Donald W Morrison

CEO, Stòrlann Nàiseanta na Gàidhlig

Donald is the Chief Executive Officer of Stòrlann, the national development agency for Gaelic educational resources in Scotland.

He is fluent in Gaelic and English with a working knowledge of Irish Gaeilge and has a deep interest in the development of Gaelic within the domains of home, school and community.  

Donald taught Gaelic drama in the Western Isles for six years and was an associate lecturer of Theatre Arts at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig.

In 2003 he managed the development and educational support aspects of Bòrd na Gàidhlig through to its founding as a public body.

Prior to joining Stòrlann in 2012, he led on the preparation of Gaelic language plans for authorities such as NHS Scotland, NHS Western Isles, Comhairle nan Eilean and Glasgow City Council.

Donald holds a BA in Gaelic and Development from The University of the Highlands and Islands and maintains an active engagement with the promotion of minority language usage and acquisition in bilingual and multilingual settings.

Donald Morrison

Dr Carol Stow

Consultant Speech & Language Therapist

Carol is a consultant speech and language therapist registered with the Health and Care Professions Council and the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists (RCSLT).

She specialises in working with bilingual children and their families. In 2009 she was appointed a Fellow of the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists in recognition of her work with bilingual families.

Carol originally worked with both children and adults and was a specialist in adult neurology and voice for two years before focussing on work with children.

She now has over 30 years clinical experience working with children with a wide range of disorders. In Rochdale, UK, she established and led the specialist team of speech and language therapists and bilingual assistants.

This team specialises in working with bilingual children and their families. Where appropriate the team works in the mother tongue of the family rather than imposing the majority language (in this case English) on the family.

The team have been at the forefront of clinical research which aims to develop effective therapy techniques for bilingual children.

Janice Angwin

Speech & Language Therapist, Highland Council

Janice Angwin is an experienced Speech and Language Therapist who has worked in Highland for 35 years.

She has a specialist interest in child language disorder, and has worked in a Language Unit, mainstream settings and with children with speech and language difficulties from a variety of linguistic and ethnic backgrounds.

Photo - Boy using a computer tablet

Bernadette Cairns

Head of Additional Support Services, Highland Council

Bernadette worked as an Educational Psychologist in Highland for 20 years and is now Head of Additional Support Services within the Care and Learning Service.

This directorate incorporates Health, Education and Social Care professionals, working within integrated teams in a single children’s service.

In her current role Bernadette has responsibility for the strategic leadership and management of additional support services, including support staff in schools, specialist education services, Allied Health Professionals, Primary Mental Health Workers, Educational Psychologists and specialist preschool services.


Marina MacLeod

Depute Head Teacher at Condorrat Primary School

Marina holds the position of Depute Head Teacher at Condorrat Primary School and Nursery, a bi-lingual school, with a Gaelic Stream where pupils are educated through the medium of Gaelic.


Christine Lapsley

Speech and Language manager at NHS Western Isles

Photo - Children talking

A’ Leasachadh Dòighean Measaidh gus
Piseach a Thoirt air Coileanadh agus
In-ghabhail Sgoilearan...

Papers & Powerpoints

Pàipearan & PowerPoints na Co-labhairt airson luchdachadh a-nuas / Conference related documents & PowerPoints for download


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