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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. Aber1991

    Aber1991 New commenter

    "I don't think the Roman Catholic church would fade away if the RC schools were all shut."
    Catholics might think something else.
    More to the point, can you guarantee that in non-denominational schools Catholic children and teachers would not be bullied by anti-Catholics?
  2. Aber1991

    Aber1991 New commenter


    "Considering many Catholics are already part of it, it seems safe enough to me."
    If that is the case, why are you trying to meddle with the present system? Why are you trying to coerce all Catholics into the non-denominational system? I am suspicious. I suspect that you are trying to exterminate the Catholic religion in Scotland, long the ambition of many Scots.
    Why are you so arrogant? The fact that the system seems safe enough to you, does not mean that is seems safe enough to all Catholics.
  3. socrates82

    socrates82 Occasional commenter

    What you say is a misrepresentation
    What I'm suggesting is that a modern Scotland has a genuinely inclusive state school system in which all pupils are educated together, not separately according to the religious beliefs of their parents.
    I'd like to see all state schools include and educate together, pupils with different parental beliefs and none, so that they can learn about and from each other in a way which promotes respect. In my opinion, separate faith schools do not contribute to social cohesion nor indeed do they support the human right of all their pupils to be informed of a range of ideas in an objective way.
    This would end discrimination and unfairness in Scottish education - both for the minority denominations and religions which don't have their "own" schools and also for "non-believing" teachers who currently suffer a de facto discrimination in respect of many of the promoted posts in faith schools.
  4. Of course it can. Look at pensions, pay deals, etc . They are all agreements which can change without agreement from all parties. All that's needed is a majority.
  5. socrates82

    socrates82 Occasional commenter

    Here is the link to what the OP is referring:


    Apparently 64.4 per cent of SNP members surveyed think that separate Catholic schools should be phased out.

    So it may become official policy sometime.
  6. Most Scots I know couldn't give a toss what religion you are.
    But that may be something to do with my location.
    The Protestant/Catholic war I will never understand.
  7. socrates82

    socrates82 Occasional commenter

    You may need to copy and paste the link:

  8. While there are RC schools in Scotland, there are no Protestant schools.
  9. Aber1991

    Aber1991 New commenter

    jonowen"I think you are winding me up somewhat Aber, but here in the north of Scotland we all live harmoniously together - perhaps some of the townies could learn from our co-operative living"
    Many Catholics live in towns close to anti-Catholic townies.
    "Seriously, I will never be able to understand all the agro associated with this nonesense."
    Nor do I. I have never understood why so many non-Catholics want power over the education of Catholic children. And I probably never will understand.
    "His message was to love one another as I have loved you"
    Does loving your neighbour include letting him sleep with your wife? Or putting oneself at risk of harm?
    "Not put up as many barriers as possible to prevent loving each other, which denominational schools do."
    I approve of barriers. Good fences make good neighbours.
  10. Aber1991

    Aber1991 New commenter


    "This would end discrimination and unfairness in Scottish education"
    Can you guarantee that, in a single education system, Catholic teachers and pupils would get fair play?
    Are you suggesting that Catholics should allow their children to be taught by members of a church which teaches that the Pope is an anti-Christ?
  11. socrates82

    socrates82 Occasional commenter

    I can't guarantee anything but I have no reason to expect anything other than all teachers would treat everyone the same. In my experience, that is what teachers do.

  12. halfajack

    halfajack Occasional commenter

    Aber, I remember your contribution to a similar discussion some time ago. I realised you were either taking the mick or beyond reasoning with when you said something about having to keep Catholics away from the evil of non-Catholics.
  13. They already are- you don't have to be a Catholic to teach in a Catholic school, merely to have a good character letter; and you don't have to have a good character to get that. Well done, though, Aber1991- until today I was against denominational schooling, but I've now changed my mind: anything that precludes my having to work beside someone like you is to be commended.
  14. Aber is a lawyer not a teacher, if I remember correctly. He genuinely has no concept of a world where sectarianism is not a daily issue. The majority of my pupils have no idea what religion they are and couldn't care less.
  15. socrates82

    socrates82 Occasional commenter

    You don't get many "better" fences than those between the Shankhill and The Falls.

    Does that make them good neighbours?

    Surely children who go to school together are much less likely to see "differences" than those who are educated in a school system which actually endorses religion-based apartheid.

    What kind of message does it send out to kids to split them at age five?
  16. jonowen

    jonowen Occasional commenter

    socrates - brilliant words so succinctly put.
    airy - you are right about aber and I have no concept in my daily world of this religious bigotry he seems to be promoting. The kids I teach are of the same opinion as yours about religion.
  17. who would think we are in the 21st century when one hears such narrow minded statements on religion?
    when I read Aber's comments, I can imagine him/her holding a cross defying the devil . . .
    I was brought up in France where religion and state have been separated since 1870. I was brought up a Catholic, but coming to live in the West of Scotland has been an eye opener. I brought up my children to be tolerant and accept that if people have the need to believe, let them be. I am now a non believer. My best friend is Catholic, my partner was brought up in the Church of Scotland, on a daily basis as a teacher I mix with Muslims and have done so at uni, and do not feel threatened. Religion does not lead my life but it saddens me to see what is done in its name.
  18. Flyonthewall75

    Flyonthewall75 New commenter

    Yes, but they're not split at the age of five.
    Most denominational schools in Scotland have a wide range of pupils of all faiths and none. Either you have no direct experience of denominational schools or you are deliberately ignoring this fact because it doesn't fit with your secularist agenda.
    Also, nurseries do not have catchment areas and children who make friends at nursery are often 'split up' because they have to attend different district schools.
    By the way, thanks for the link to the Scotsman article.
    What it basically says is that a survey of the SNP's membership indicates that the SNP is deeply divided over defence policy, education and the monarchy. The greatest consensus, apparently, was that 71.1% felt that the SNP's primary goal was independence and "all else should be secondary".
    "On the controversial subject of education by religion, 64.4 per cent thought that separate Catholic schools should be phased out. The SNP has said that it is committed to denominational education."
    How many of the 64.4% of SNP members have any direct interest in the continuation of denominational schools? Indeed, given that nationally only around 15% of schools are denominational and 85% non-denominational, how many of them have even been inside a denominational school.
    There is, of course, a big difference between being a member of a political party and being the elected MSP, or Councillor, for a constituency. What matters is how many MSPs and Councillors of any political party, including prospective candidates, are in favour of abolishing denominational schools. Now, there's a piece of research for Professor James Mitchell, and Strathclyde University, to pursue.
    Somehow, I suspect that no political party will want to be seen to be pursuing a policy of abolishing denominational schools, not simply because it would hand 'ammunition' to their opponents, but because it would tie them up in a very public, and acrimonious, legal dispute with a significant section of the electorate.
    However, given the duplicity of some politicians, it shows the importance of rigorously questioning our elected members, and prospective candidates, to establish their position on such matters and holding them to their stated views.
    With the May elections coming up, what better time to start.
  19. socrates82

    socrates82 Occasional commenter

    Your nurseries point is a red herring, with respect. I?m (quite clearly) talking about the splitting of kids on religious grounds.
    And I dispute what you say about a "wide range" of pupils. The majority are there because their parents want them to be in a ?Catholic? school.
    Surely the raison d'etre of an RC school is teaching that the RC faith is the "true" faith? Yes, nowadays Scottish RC schools may inform about other faiths but they are, by logical extension, saying these other belief systems are ?wrong?. Children are not being afforded objective information to make up their own mind, and that is selling them sort and in violation of their human right to receive information and ideas of all kinds.
    By the way, I don?t consider it valid to talk about children being ?Catholic?, ?Protestant? or ?atheist? etc. If young people under the age of 18 are not considered mature enough to choose between Alex Salmond and Annabel Goldie for FM, in what way can they be considered mature enough to have reached an informed decision about the existence or otherwise of a supreme being and all the nuances of theology which go along with that? Information about religious beliefs is fair enough but it should be presented in an objective, balanced and pluralistic way, and that is NOT the case in faith schools.

    The SNP members who support phasing out denominational schools would have to speak for themselves. But, as members of society, they are perfectly entitled to advocate a policy which they think puts the ?greater good? and children?s rights ahead of some parents? wishes.
    I take your point that there may be political and legal challenges involved with such a policy. That however, doesn?t stop it being the correct way forward for a modern society, in many people?s opinion.
  20. I've worked in both sectors and I tell you, the Catholic school is not ' a school for Catholics' but a school which upholds and teaches Gospel values, Christian morals and the belief that life is not only what we can perceive with our senses. A true Catholic school teaches by example -learning, love and charity, global citizenship in action. Many non denom schools have an excellent record in the first and last, but do little to promote the Gospel - for that is not their purpose.
    This is not to say any school can be a perfect environment - the problems of being human pervade every school and all of us, but the Catholic school works to be faithful to the model of Christ. Whatever you think of this, right now parents have a choice to send their children to the type of school which suits the family ethos and belief system. Just because some don't agree with it doesn't mean that choice should be removed. Just for the record, I didn't attend a Catholic school myself, although my children did.


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