Renewed calls to end religious approval for teachers

Renewed calls have been made regarding bringing to an end religious approval for teachers.

In an interview with the Sunday Herald, Larry Flanagan head of Scotland’s largest teaching union EIS said of the approval system which currently exists in Scotland’s denominational schools:

“We are not in favour of the current operation of approval by the Catholic Church.

“What used to exist before was a limited operation of approval around pastoral case posts. By and large we would prefer not to see approval there at all.

“If you apply to work in a [Catholic school] then de facto you are accepting that’s the nature of the school. It would be a reasonable expectation that you would not behave counter to that kind of ethos. So, on that basis, there wouldn’t necessarily be the need for any kind of ring-fencing of particular posts.”

This most recent call from the head of a 60,000 strong teaching union adds further pressure on the role of religious organisations in Scotland’s schools.

Humanist Society Scotland’s Campaign and Communications Manager Fraser Sutherland welcomed the comments and said:

“We don’t believe that discrimination on the basis of religious background is appropriate in recruiting teachers for Scotland’s schooling system. Children and young people deserve to be taught by the best teachers in all Scottish schools no matter what their religion is or is not.

“We don’t tolerate discrimination for recruitment of other public servants like doctors or police officers, so why should we tolerate it for teachers? The Humanist Society Scotland believe Scotland’s schooling system should be multi-denominational, with schools being inclusive to both children and staff, of all faiths and none, in all that they do.”

The Enlighten Up campaign is an initiative of Humanist Society Scotland which aims to promote a fair and inclusive education system where pupils and teachers are not discriminated against because of their religion or belief.
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