Subscribe to Holyrood updates

Newsletter sign-up


Follow us

Scotland’s fortnightly political & current affairs magazine


Subscribe to Holyrood
10 November 2015
Soapbox: The Kirk supports learning - Graeme Donald

Soapbox: The Kirk supports learning - Graeme Donald

Last month the Humanist Society Scotland published new research into the impact and role of religion on Scotland’s legal framework with specific reference to education. 

As the new Convener of the Church of Scotland’s Standing Commission on Education I welcome the opportunity to engage with all views about how Scotland best delivers for all our young people.  We are always open to new ideas and different perspectives. 

We fully support the development of high-quality religious observance or time for reflection. Not because we want school assemblies to be ‘mini-church’, but because we believe it our way of showing support for the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child when it talks about a right of spiritual development. 


Soapbox: Measure what matters in education, including the contribution of parents- Eileen Prior

Soapbox: People with profound and multiple learning disabilities need specialist care in Scotland- Ann Maxwell

Leap of faith - religion in schools

With others we seek high quality religious and moral education delivered in every school, because it is through learning and understanding we are able to build respect between people with different ideas, and get to grips with the big challenges facing Scotland and the world.  We are interested in supporting the health and well-being of every young person, as a contribution to them becoming confident individuals, successful learners, effective contributors and responsible citizens.

And it is why we continue to appoint and advise our representatives on local authority committees. We believe that our statutory duty to have representatives contributes to the common good. The role has little to do with the Church’s history and involvement in Scottish education (significant though that was), and instead reflects our present and future contribution to education for all.  Our involvement does not undermine local democratic decision-making, it is part of wider community participation in the delivery of public services.  It is our intention to contribute to the debate on how we support the vulnerable, recognise achievement and work together for shared values. 

The Church of Scotland does not have a monopoly on such objectives, but with our national reach and willingness to offer freely our support, it is a role which we will continue to pursue.  We believe that it enhances the education service and supports learning.

By Graeme Donald, 
Convener of the Standing Committee on Education, The Church of Scotland

Holyrood Newsletters

Holyrood provides comprehensive coverage of Scottish politics, offering award-winning reporting and analysis: Subscribe



Get award-winning journalism delivered straight to your inbox

Get award-winning journalism delivered straight to your inbox


Popular reads
Back to top