PLANS to move a Gaelic school in Edinburgh will pave the way for the city's first high school dedicated to the language, if demand grows.

Edinburgh City Council is consulting on plans to move its existing Gaelic medium education (GME) provision from James Gillespie's High School in Marchmont to Drummond Community High School in Bellevue.

The informal consultation is to begin in the new year after reports that projections for James Gillespie's suggest it will have issues accommodating pupil intake in the future.

The council said transfer of GME provision to Drummond Community High School means it could become a dedicated Gaelic secondary in several years' time.

A further consultation would be held if the school were to become a dedicated Gaelic institution.

Edinburgh's only dedicated GME primary school is Bun-sgoil Taobh na Pàirce in Pilrig, which is near Drummond.

According to the BBC, the primary has a roll of 348 but this is projected to rise to more than 400 by 2020.

Ian Perry, City of Edinburgh Council's convener of the education, children and families committee, said: "We must act soon to deal with the future capacity issues at James Gillespie's and opening up discussions on the future of GME is the start of the process.

"Analysis of our high school estate has identified Drummond as a suitable choice as it is currently under capacity.

"Having the additional pupils at the school could also improve the curriculum choice on offer to pupils there.

"Another benefit is with Bun-sgoil Taobh na Pàirce located nearby this presents an ideal educational opportunity for resources to be shared between primary and secondary GME."

Brian Thunder, chair of Comann nam Pàrant Groups representing parents with children in GME welcomed the council's consultation.

He said: "We welcome the fact that GME is being included in the overall review of the Edinburgh school estate, and view it as very positive that the Council recognises GME as a growing stream.

"As parents, the quality of education is always the top priority and we'll look at all proposals with education as our key consideration.

"We're committed to continuing to work constructively with the Council on the strategy for GME development in Edinburgh at all levels from zero to 18 years."