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Digital Subscriptions > The Oban Times & Lochaber Times > 10 May 2018 > Council champions Mull Gaelic teacher despite visa refusals

Council champions Mull Gaelic teacher despite visa refusals

SANDY NEIL sneil@obantimes.co.uk

BUNESSAN’S new Gaelic school still has not found a teacher after the post was readvertised for the fifth time, but Argyll and Bute Council is campaigning to reverse the Home Office’s repeated refusal to grant the only applicant, a Canadian, a visa. Sìne Halfpenny from Nova Scotia, a Gaelic teacher qualified to work in Scotland, was accepted as the ‘ideal’ applicant for a teaching post at a new Gaelic unit on the Ross of Mull, to which children from three families enrolled to start last summer. But the Home Office snubbed her visa application twice, first because ‘she did not meet salary requirements’ and then when the council’s certificate of sponsorship ‘failed to meet the required points’. Mull councillor Mary Jean Devon asked the council’s last meeting in Kilmory: ‘Where are we filling the vacancy in the Gaelic school in Bunessan?’ The policy lead for education, councillor Yvonne McNeilly, replied: ‘We are still very actively looking for the position to be filled.

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