At an Education Committee at Stormont, MLAs heard from representatives of Comhairle na Gaelscolaíochta about the issues facing the sector.
Irish Medium Education is the fastest growing education sector in the North and now spans the integrated, controlled and maintained sectors.
SDLP Education spokesperson Daniel McCrossan MLA said:
“The progress that the Irish Medium Education sector has made is remarkable and a real credit to those who have pioneered its development and had the vision for an immersive approach to education. We are now looking at the prospect of more young people studying Irish for A level than French. All this has been achieved with meagre resources but an abundance of creativity.
“Success brings its challenges. There is a clear need for the Executive to catch up with the sector. The SDLP is calling for the Department of Education, CCEA, the Education Authority and C2k to come together and join up their thinking about how they can more appropriately support this vibrant sector.
“There are issues in relation to an adequate supply of trained staff, appropriate accommodation, sufficient quality resources including ICT support for both schools and homes, inadequate SEN help and an area planning process which has not been supportive.
“It is time we had joined up thinking. Much can be learning from how other jurisdictions such as Scotland and Wales have supported and encouraged the development of their native languages. We need to follow suit and the Assembly must lead the way.”