The Church of Scotland and Education

Education issues fall under the remit of the Church and Society Council, and include religious observance in schools, social and moral education and sexual health strategies in education. The Council also runs the annual school competition for the Stevenson Prize.

For further information on our education work please contact Agnes Mullen 0131 240 2275.

Barriers to Literacy

Protecting School Budgets

Read the Church and Society Council report to the General Assembly 2011 Protecting school budgets.

Religious Observance

The Church is committed to supporting the provision of high quality religious observance in schools. In August 2013 we prepared a briefing for the Scottish Parliament's Public Petitions Committee to underline why we think religious observance is important.

Post 16 Education

Response to the Scottish Government consultation: Putting Learners at the Centre: Delivering our Ambitions for Post-16 Education, December 2011.

Curriculum for Excellence: Religious Education

The 'experiences and outcomes' in religious and moral education for the Curriculum for Excellence are available on the Education Scotland website!

Rural Education

Read the Church of Scotland response to the Scottish Government Commission on Rural Education, January 2012.

Local Authority Reps

  1. Since the state assumed responsibility for the provision of school education in 1872 the Church of Scotland has been granted a statutory role as part of the education authority of the day. This privileged position reflects the historical link between schooling and the church. For that reason, if for no other, it is important for church representation on local authority committees with a responsibility for education, to ensure a respected presence across Scotland. This may be achieved by establishing good relationships; by exercising your statutory right and endeavouring 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.
  2. As determined by the General Assembly, the Church of Scotland's Church and Society Council, through its Standing Committee on Education, approves the appointment of Education Representatives and informs local councils of that representation. Such appointments usually coincide with the election of Scottish councils. A copy of the guideline for the appointment of church representatives forms part of this guide. In practice presbyteries are invited to nominate representatives to the Church and Society Council. In most cases there is more than one presbytery within the bounds of a local authority. It is incumbent on presbyteries to agree upon a manner of selecting their nominee. Many do so by rotation and invitation, some seek indications of interest and others as and when a suitable candidate is obvious to all.
  3. The Church of Scotland Education Representative joins the representative from the Roman Catholic Church and a "third representative" who is representative of the interests of other churches/denominations in the area, taking into account their comparative strengths.