POLISH could be taught in Scottish schools as part of moves to make EU nationals feel more welcome in the aftermath of the Brexit vote.

The Scottish Government said it would consider introducing Polish language qualifications during a debate on the impact of Britain's decision to leave the EU held in Edinburgh.

Education Secretary John Swinney said he would “look very carefully” at giving Polish a place on the curriculum alongside subjects such as French and German - an idea proposed by a member of the audience.

Polish communities in Scotland have already been lobbying the authorities to introduce the language, which is currently taught at a network of community schools.

More Polish nationals live in Scotland than any other group from outside the UK, with an estimated 80,000 choosing to set up their homes north of the Border and some 12,000 educated in schools and nurseries.

In some areas Polish children make up over seven per cent of the pupil population and schools such as St Augustine's High School in Edinburgh has 30 per cent of students born to Polish parents.

Responding to a question from a Polish woman who said it was by far the largest minority language in Scotland and should be taught in schools alongside other more traditional modern languages, Mr Swinney said she had raised “a very serious and significant point”.

He said: "I know from my own constituency experience of the significance of the Polish community and even from my own son’s primary two class.

"A significant proportion of that class are young people from Polish families living within our community. I’ll look very carefully at the arguments about that and will give further thought to how we can address the issue.”

Dr Anna Martowicz, a Polish language teacher and linguist, who prepared a report on the introduction of Polish qualifications to Scottish schools last year, has previously called for qualifications in the Polish language be introduced at National 4, 5 and Higher levels.

She said last year: "Our figures demonstrate the demand for Polish among the children of Polish migrants, but also suggest an opportunity for non-Polish speakers to learn the language in a supportive environment."