Education and the Church

As Scotland becomes a more diverse nation, and as schools equip young people for the world of further study and work, understanding people from different backgrounds is an essential criteria in the modern workplace and in society generally.

Ensuring the continued development and delivery of high-quality religious and moral education for the sake of a coherent and integrated society should be a priority for future education policy.

In a world where religion is playing an increasing role, whether it be extremists whose interpretation of faith leads to violent terrorism, or inter-faith platforms to tackle global problems such as climate change or human trafficking, the importance for every person to understand and reflect on the role of religion in society has never been greater.

Religious Observance

Today the Church, through its Education Committee, still holds strong to that commitment for education, believing that it continues to change lives for the better. The Curriculum for Excellence, to which the Committee contributed significantly, is an exciting curriculum which the Church believes holds true to those early reformation traditions of education being about the whole person.

A Christian Vision for Education in Scottish Schools

A Christian Vision, produced by Action of Churches Together in Scotland, is designed for use by congregations and ecumenical groups to stimulate discussions and inspire Christians to take an active interest in the provision of education in schools.

Education should develop all our human capacities – moral, spiritual, emotional, physical and intellectual. It should help to make meaning out of life and to acquire a sense of purpose in and for life. It should enable the choice of priorities for life, the development of values and growth in virtue, and foster relationships with God, with self and other people.

A Christian Vision

Schools and Chaplains

The Guidance for School Chaplains handbook goes into detail about chaplaincy teams, supporting pupils with additional needs, what makes a good chaplain, and how to get support from schools.

There are a number of resources available to chaplains in the Children and Young People section of the website.

Local authority education representatives

Local authority education committees all have designated positions for representatives of the Church of Scotland, the Roman Catholic Church, and a third party that represents the interests of other denominations in the area.

Church of Scotland education representatives are encouraged to establish good relationships. They are also encouraged to exercise their statutory right and endeavour to influence council education policies in areas of interest to the national church, including the development of the curriculum, Christian values, religious and moral education, and religious observance in schools.

The Church approves the appointment of Education Representatives and informs local councils of that representation. Such appointments usually coincide with the election of Scottish councils.

For more information about being a representative, read our Guide to Good Practice for Church of Scotland Education Representatives. For the Education Representatives Handbook please contact Agnes Mullen via email or by phone on 0131 240 2275.