Senior Lecturer and Deputy Head of Education, Strathclyde University
Dr. Claire Cassidy
Inclusive education means treating pupils and teachers equally, regardless of their religion or belief. It also means that pupils should learn objectively, about all religions and beliefs. Sadly that is not the situation at the moment. Today in Scottish education, religion and religious institutions are given a privileged position. This is not good for Scottish society, and not good for pupils. That is why I support the Enlighten Up campaign, it’s time to see some progressive reform in this area of education in Scotland.
College Lecturer, writer and CommonSpace columnist
Religious ideology should not be afforded a privileged position in society and, although progress had been made in many areas, it’s clear that educational reform is still badly needed. It is not acceptable that unelected religious representatives are able to wield power as part of local education committees, which should be democratically accountable to the people they are supposed to serve. Children also have the right to learn objectively about all beliefs and for the schools they attend to be inclusive for people of all faiths and none. This is why I support the Enlighten Up campaign for progressive change in Scottish education.
Philosopher and Master of New College of the Humanities
Prof. AC Grayling
Philosophical enquiry is fundamental to a rounded education. It’s so important that we end the privileged treatment of religious philosophy over secular ones, such as Humanism. An ethical, rational, secular education system is one that gives all young people a chance to critically evaluate all world-views. That is why I support the Enlighten Up campaign for education reform in Scotland.
Shetland Islands Councillor, Lerwick South
Cllr. Jonathan Wills
Local councillors have to seek a mandate from their community, and they remain accountable to the local community. Having unelected religious representatives on local education committees is outdated and has to change. That is why I support the Enlighten Up campaign for education reform in Scotland.
Parent of two school age children
As a parent of two school age children, I’m always astonished to learn that unelected church leaders are able to make decisions about my children’s education. I want my local education committee to be accountable, through the ballot-box, which is why I’m supporting the Enlighten Up campaign.
Psychologist, University of Hertfordshire
Prof. Richard Wiseman
When it comes to education, we must make sound evidence-based decisions. With almost one-in-two households in Scotland having no religion, the position of unelected religious representatives is untenable and that is why I support the Enlighten Up campaign.
Student teacher of Religious, Moral and Philosophical Education
As a student teacher of RMPS I see first hand just how needed a broad and inclusive approach to education is in Scotland. Many aspects of Scottish education still give precedence to religious world-views. There needs to be explicit references to beliefs and values independent of world-faiths. We must help children learn objectively about religions and beliefs, but we cannot do with while our guidelines make explicit references to Christianity, but only passing reference to all other world faiths. Scotland deserves a truly representative education system, and that is why I will be supporting the Enlighten Up campaign for educational reform in Scotland.
Mother of two and Scout Leader
As a mother-of-two I know from experience how religious privilege in education can make non-religious young people feel excluded. Our schools should be welcoming, open places where children learn objectively about all religions and beliefs. I’m supporting the Enlighten Up campaign because I want to see inclusive education in Scotland.
Journalist, writer and commentator
It’s more important than ever that all children and young people learn in an open, objective manner about all religions and beliefs. As society changes, so too must our education policy. That is why I support the Enlighten Up campaign for education reform in Scotland.
Parent of primary age pupil
As the parent of a primary school age child, I was surprised by how much influence the church has on the school. We are not a religious family, and I find it hard to understand why religion is forced upon children at school. That is why I support the Enlighten Up campaign.
Former Universities Scotland representative to General Teaching Council for Scotland
Dr. George Wilson
As a former teacher, I feel the establishment of separate faith schools has done a disservice to Scotland, encouraging separation and bigotry over many decades. In an increasingly secular society, Scottish children’s education should be free from sectarian bias, and one step forward would be to remove the outdated laws by which unelected religious representatives sit on public educational bodies. It’s for these reasons that I support the Enlighten Up campaign.
HSS Chief Executive, and father-of-two
As someone who values democracy, and accountability I find the presence of unelected religious representatives objectionable. As a parent I find it regrettable that the Churches feel they have a unique moral insight not shared by the majority of non-religious people in Scotland. That’s why I support the Enlighten Up campaign.
Former Teacher, and Tutor of Humanism Adult education class
Humanism is a rich and satisfying outlook on life. It celebrates human creativity and progress, both in the sciences and in the arts, and it offers a rational and humane basis for moral values. As religious beliefs become less and less credible, the need to include Humanism at all levels of education becomes more and more pressing. That’s why I’m supporting the Enlighten Up campaign.
Humanist Celebrant and Parent
Dr. Fiona Thomas
Primary age children should be encouraged to learn and think for themselves. I’m very concerned about in-depth Bible lessons being taught by external religious visitors at my children’s primary school, which may not be presented as part of an objective and balanced curriculum. School should be a place of learning and enquiry, not a place to evangelise young people. That is why I support the Enlighten Up campaign.
Psychology Research Fellow, University of Edinburgh
Dr. Stuart Ritchie
I’m sure many people, groups, and organisations would love to influence education policy in Scotland. For most people, to do so they have to stand for election, and that’s as it should be. There’s no good argument for privileging religious groups by requiring their appointment to all education committees. I’m supporting the Enlighten Up campaign for education reform in Scotland.
Poet, Former Scots' Makar
We need to build a fair, ethical, secular Scotland. One in which children learn and live together. Decision makers must be accountable to their constituents through the ballot box. That is why I support the Enlighten Up campaign for education reform in Scotland.
Parent of 8 year old
As a parent, I am concerned about religious influence over my child’s education. We’re not a religious family, and it doesn’t make sense that religions are given such special treatment in education. That is why I support the Enlighten Up campaign for education reform in Scotland.
Biologist, and former Chief Scientific Advisor to Scottish Government
Dame Prof. Anne Glover
A vibrant and engaged modern Scotland needs an education policy that reflects the reality of modern Scottish society. That is why I support the Enlighten Up campaign for education reform in Scotland.
Campaigner and former Rector of the University of Edinburgh
It’s completely unjust that religious representatives sit unelected and uncountable on local authority education committees. At a time when not all local authorities have teacher and student representatives. It’s time that we reform this outdated quirk of the law. That is why I support the Enlighten Up campaign for education reform in Scotland.
HSS Head of Ceremonies, and mother-of-two
I want to see a modern, progressive, enlightened approach to education in Scotland. Democratic accountability for decision makers has to underpin that. That is why I support the Enlighten Up campaign for education reform in Scotland.
During my short time on this earth so far I’ve come to understand the importance of human decency and the scale of human difference. Unification of all through our shared humanity is what is truly important. The sooner we can all recognise our oneness as a species, the sooner we can start building a world to be proud of. A world which will embody values of equality, compassion, reason and peace. That’s why I am proud to support the Enlighten Up campaign.
WILL YOU BECOME A PUBLIC SUPPORTER OF THE CAMPAIGN?
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.