Information for parents and carers

Throughout Edinburgh there are many school pupils for whom English is not the first or home language.

The English as an Additional Language (EAL) and Gypsy Roma Traveller Support Team is part of the ASL Service.  We provide specialist advice, training and teaching to support language development and learning; culturally inclusive practice; and effective race equality practice.  We also provide bilingual support in Edinburgh’s most common minority languages.

Learners may arrive, leave or cease to require additional help at any time during the school year.  We therefore work flexibly in order to respond to these frequently changing demands.

Who do the EAL  and Gypsy Roma Traveller Team support?

We support learners whose first or home language is not English. They may be:

  • beginners
  • those with limited English
  • those who speak English fluently but may not be achieving their full academic potential

We also support professionals, including:

  • Teachers (Class, Subject, Guidance, Support and Promoted Staff as well as specialist visiting teachers)
  • Educational Psychologists
  • Speech and Language Therapists
  • Occupational Therapists
  • Educational Welfare Officers
  • and all other agencies who work with bilingual pupils

Finally, we support parents of bilingual pupils and also local community groups.

What does the EAL and Gypsy Roma Traveller Team offer?

  • Schools – supporting bilingual pupils within mainstream primary, secondary and special schools in liaison with class and subject teachers.
  • Additional language classes – available to some secondary pupils from mainstream city schools on a part time basis.
  • assessment, resources and teaching strategies
  • linguistic and cultural matters
  • staff development in schools
  • arrangements for external and alternative examinations
  • contacts with local community services, e.g. language classes for adults, interpreting services and others

How can I contact ASL Service for support from the EAL team?

You should contact the EAL Teacher in your child’s school, via their class teacher or the school office.  You may also contact ASL Service.

More information

Please further explore this section of our website for information on:

Further information can be found on our old EAL website, – we are in the process of transferring this to this new site.