EDINBURGH'S first dedicated Gaelic school has been officially opened, making it the third in Scotland.

Bun-sgoil Taobh na Páirce, or Parkside Primary School, has a roll of 211, 58 of whom are in Primary One. A further 79 children are in the nursery. There are 30 Gaelic-speaking staff and the curriculum will be taught entirely in the language.

Alasdair Allan, Minister for Learning and Scotland's Languages, who has learnt Gaelic himself, said: "This school, and others like it, will help ensure that Gaelic continues to be a vibrant part of our culture, immersing pupils and staff in the language and allowing them to carry it with them throughout their lives.

"Our efforts to encourage a new generation of Gaelic speakers and teachers is already showing encouraging results - as we've seen by the 12 per cent rise in pupils entering P1 this year." There are currently around 60 primary schools across Scotland with Gaelic medium units, and one in Sleat on Skye where there is an English medium unit at what is now officially a Gaelic medium school. Meanwhile, some secondary schools teach some courses through the medium of Gaelic.

But there are only two other schools in Scotland where there is no English used in the classroom or anywhere else.