For the most part, the act was inspired by adherence to the principles of Knox's Book of Discipline. The objective that everyone, especially the youth, be educated is taken from the Preamble to the book, while the means of realising this objective (government establishment of Church-supervised schools) is also from that book.
However, the objective of obliterating the Gaelic language had other origins. Those in power harbored a disaffection for Highlanders and their culture, and thought to resolve the issue by eliminating their language. This act was neither the first nor the last attempt to do so.
Those who were sympathetic towards Highland culture praised the objective of promoting universally available education, but noted that government efforts in the Isles and Highlands were anti-Gaelic and not pro-education.
By itself, the act was not effective, as it provided no means of realisation. The act would be ratified by the Parliament's Education Act 1633, which would also provide a method of realising the objective. The privy council act remained in effect into the nineteenth century as one of the principal statutes for the management of schools under Scots Law.
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