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Do the SNP favour the scrapping of Denominational Schools?

Discussion in 'Scotland - education news' started by Freddie92, Feb 13, 2012.

  1. Freddie92

    Freddie92 New commenter

    I read today that Alec Salmond is facing criticism from the SNP as among other things they don't want to keep the Queen as Head of State and also wish to scrap denominational schools. Any more information on this?
     
  2. halfajack

    halfajack Occasional commenter

    Much of the SNP membership are poles apart when it comes to their beliefs about anything but the common goal of independence. Even that is ambiguous, as you've highlighted. Imagine a unionist saying to an SNP member a few years ago, 'Aye, OK, you can have 'independence.' But you have to keep the Queen, Sterling, still call yourselves 'British,' share the army....' but that's pretty much what they're going for now.
     
  3. halfajack

    halfajack Occasional commenter

    And by 'they' I mean the leadership of the party.
     
  4. [​IMG]
    Leadership too.
     
  5. To answer Freddie's question, I think they'll keep the status quo re denominational schools. The Catholic vote in the west of Scotland is too important to tamper with.
    And in light of the Ibrox news, would you want a blue-nose running your school's finances?
     
  6. socrates82

    socrates82 Occasional commenter

    It seems to me there is ample opportunity for parents to "pass on" religious beliefs in the home and by taking them to the church/place of worship of their choice.Why do we need to divide up the school system to do that?
     
  7. socrates82

    socrates82 Occasional commenter

    You're clearly very big on parental "rights". What about children's rights? Do they not matter?

    "The child shall have the right to freedom of expression; this right shall include freedom to seek, receive and impart information and ideas of all kinds." (Article 13, Convention on the Rights of the Child, adopted by the UN, 1989).


    Can you honestly say that children in e.g. RC schools, receive a balanced view on issues such as gay rights and abortion?
     
  8. Aber1991

    Aber1991 New commenter

    socrates82


    "Can you honestly say that children in e.g. RC schools, receive a balanced view on issues such as gay rights and abortion?"
    No, I cannot say that. I do say that children in RC schools should be taught that homosexuality is wrong, that abortion is wrong, that the Pope is infallible and all the other doctrines of Catholicism. That is the purpose of Catholic schools.
    Your question is an excellent reason for Catholics to keep control of the education of Catholics. Anti-Catholic bigotry in the field of education provoked the Catholic church into establishing its own schools. That was the case in Scotland, Ireland, England, the USA and Australia. It does not matter whether the anti-Catholics are fundamentalist Protestants or aggressive secularists; an anti-Catholic is an anti-Catholic.



     
  9. Aber1991

    Aber1991 New commenter

    socrates82

    "It seems to me there is ample opportunity for parents to "pass on" religious beliefs in the home and by taking them to the church/place of worship of their choice.
    Why do we need to divide up the school system to do that?"
    Please leave judgement on that to the parents of Catholic children.
     
  10. Flyonthewall75

    Flyonthewall75 New commenter

    In an age of increasingly aggressive secularism, why would parents choose to give up the provision, and support, of denominational schools which they value?
     
  11. Flyonthewall75

    Flyonthewall75 New commenter


    Convention on the Rights of the Child
    Article 5 (Parental guidance):
    Governments should respect the rights and responsibilities of families to direct and guide their children so that, as they grow, they learn to use their rights properly. Helping children to understand their rights does not mean pushing them to make choices with consequences that they are too young to handle. Article 5 encourages parents to deal with issues "in a manner consistent with the evolving capacities of the child". The convention does not take responsibility for children away from their parents and give more authority to governments. It does place on governments the responsibility to protect and assist families in fulfilling their essential role as nurturers of children.
    That depends on what you mean by 'a balanced view'?
    With regard to primary age children, I have found that parents in general, of all faiths and none, tend to be very protective of their children being influenced as to the normality, or otherwise, of issues of sexual orientation at a young age.
    I can't speak with first hand experience of secondary age pupils, but my impression is that they are far from being indoctrinated in such matters and have the opportunity to develop an informed moral conscience as they mature.
     
  12. socrates82

    socrates82 Occasional commenter



    We seem to have a difference of opinion amongst the apologists for separate schools.One person is saying that kids should be fully indoctrinated in all Catholic doctrines, including the particularly-curious idea of "papal infallibility". The other is saying they are "far from being indoctrinated".

    Which is it then?
     
  13. Aber1991

    Aber1991 New commenter

    Please be a good man and a courteous man and leave that question to the parents who send their children to Catholic schools.
     
  14. Flyonthewall75

    Flyonthewall75 New commenter

    Now, I know you're finding this difficult to understand but let me try to explain it again.
    Under the Education (Scotland) Act 1980, all public schools, denominational and non-denominational, are open to all pupils of all denominations and none.
    Whilst RC schools have a duty to faithfully represent the teachings of the Catholic Church, they also have a duty to respect the religious, and cultural, beliefs of other pupils in the school including those who may profess no particular faith.
    In addition, religious education is more than just instruction in doctrine and involves developing an understanding of what religious beliefs mean as part of a school, and wider, faith community.
    Of course, if you do not agree with religion in any shape or form, this may not mean anything to you and we can just agree to differ.
     
  15. socrates82

    socrates82 Occasional commenter


    You've mentioned the Education (Scotland) Act 1980 several times now. However, we are not debating that, are we? We are debating possible future policy and whether "scrapping" denominational schools (as some SNP members apparently want to do) would be the best course of action for a modern Scotland.

    You've also cited the Human Rights Act 1998, in particular that: "the state shall respect the right of parents to ensure such education and teaching in conformity with their own religious and philosophical convictions." This article only guarantees people the right to access to existing educational institutions; it does NOT require the government to establish or fund a particular type of education. The requirement to respect parents' convictions is intended to prevent indoctrination by the state. However schools can teach about religion and philosophy if they do so in an objective, critical, and pluralistic manner. (basically what currently happens in "non-denominational" schools.)

    As stated by Aber1991:
    "Children in RC schools should be taught that homosexuality is wrong, that abortion is wrong ... " etc.
    I would suggest again, that this appears to contravene another human right: "The child shall have the right to receive information and ideas of all kinds." (Article 13, Convention on the Rights of the Child, adopted by the UN, 1989).
     
  16. socrates82

    socrates82 Occasional commenter

    I really don't see how it is "bad" and "discourteous" to engage in a civilised debate on the continued division of our education system on the basis of parental religion?

    And did society leave the decision on smoke-free policy to smokers?
     
  17. Flyonthewall75

    Flyonthewall75 New commenter

    That is because it is the relevant legislation covering the right of denominational schools in Scotland to exist.
    I wasn't aware that it was up for debate. Do you have a link? Just because individual party members allegedly want to do something doesn't make it official policy. Who knows, it could even be scaremongering by politicians or the media.
    When denominational schools were integrated into the state education system in Scotland under the 1918 Education Act, legal assurances were given that the religious status of denominational schools would be safeguarded.
    Under the legislation, any change to the status of denominational schools has to be referred to the Secretary of State for Scotland and any decision is open to a legal challenge.
    If any political party wish to change the legislation relating to denominational schools, I would expect to see it in their party manifesto and if the SG have any plans to do so, I would expect them to consult with those directly affected.
    No I didn't. You quoted from Article 13 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child 1989 and I quoted from Article 5 of the same Convention which you have to read in full if you are to have a balanced view of what it actually says.
    Yes, but your arguments are not really about the way in which religion is taught because you've already stated that you don't agree with any religious beliefs, for which you can see no evidence, and you don't believe religious beliefs should be taught to children.
    So why not just be clear about it. You are a supporter of aggressive secularism and you wish to impose your belief system on everyone else which, if anything, makes denominational schools more relevant today, not less.
    However, we live in a democracy and I look forward to the debate as, and when, a mainstream political party officially indicates its intention to disregard the wishes of parents, pupils and teachers who value denominational schools.
     
  18. socrates82

    socrates82 Occasional commenter

    I agree you didn't quote directly from the HR Act but the argument you put forward about parents' rights is based on that, is it not? I also agree about taking a balanced view on the "Rights of the Child" but I'm still waiting for you to address the child's right to receive ideas of all kinds? ("It is the purpose of Catholic schools to teach that "homosexuality is wrong", "abortion is wrong" etc. - as stated by Aber1991)

    This is spectacularly wrong I'm afraid. A secularist does not wish to impose anything on anyone, they merely want to keep religion out of state affairs. Moreover, any move towards that will be reached democratically. If anything, it is the theists who are aggressive since they want to interfere in others' lives e.g on the rights of gay people to get married.
    I've already stated that I have no problem with children being informed about religious beliefs in a factual, critical and pluralistic way (as they currently are in non-denominational schools) - but I am firmly of the opinion that the state should not be an enabler of indoctrination and kids being told that a particular religion is "true".Parents are already totally free to do that - therefore we don't need division in the school system.

    I look forward to the debate too. It's not so much about "disregarding" anyone but reaching about a consensus on what's best for society. Ending division in the school system does not affect anyone religious freedom one jot.
     
  19. socrates82

    socrates82 Occasional commenter

    Considering many Catholics are already part of it, it seems safe enough to me.
    What do you think Fly on the Wall? Do you stand by your view that kids are "far from indoctrinated"?
     
  20. jonowen

    jonowen Occasional commenter

    Just a few points, as I am dead against RC versus Protestant schools for reasons I've mentioned several times in my old age:
    • schools are here to teach children regardless of race, colour, creed, ability.
    • what about the gay kids who are not allowed to be true to themselves? We have no right to tell them they are wrong.
    • see all the debate this thread has created? Healthy discussion is one thing but heated and snide words cause offence.
    And one final view - the other day we were talking about Jehovas Witnesses' children being removed from class, not allowed to participate in certain things blah-de-blah.............Research proves that there are very, very few adult JWs who were brought up in that faith - they had all converted as adults; most (nearly 100% of) children JWs gave up their parents' faith when old enough. I think that forcing children to do something rather than give them the choice,displays an insecurity - I don't think the Roman Catholic church would fade away if the RC schools were all shut.
     

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