Top Scots Catholic calls for creation of atheist schools
[For Catholic atheists?]
PETER Kearney said Scottish education must follow in the footsteps of other countries who have diversified their schools.
29 DEC 2015
BY STEPHEN STEWART
A TOP Catholic has called for the creation of atheist schools .
Peter Kearney, the Scottish Catholic Church’s official spokesman said “secular humanist” schools are needed to satisfy society’s desire to cater for all beliefs.
In the Herald, Mr Kearney also called for an expansion of faith-based schools , claiming there was a “scream for conformity” within Scottish education.
Mr Kearney said: “Why should tax-paying parents who follow a secular humanist belief system be denied the opportunity to have their children educated in accordance with their beliefs?
“If demand exists and secular humanist schools were to be managed and regulated in accordance with national guidance and practice, as Catholic schools are, then good luck to them.”
Mr Kearney added: “From Australia and Canada to England and Wales diverse and varied societies seem perfectly comfortable with a diverse and varied education system.
“Schools can reflect the plurality of beliefs in society or ignore that reality and impose a single belief system on all, removing choice in this way, would be the height of intolerance.
“There is no reason why the Scottish education system shouldn’t flourish by increasing the diversity which Gaelic, Catholic, music and Jewish schools already bring to the sector.”
Professor Bob Davis, the former head of Glasgow University’s school of education , said: “We can in Scotland have a successful combination of locally-rooted and governed schools that are nonetheless still open to more diversity of world view and philosophy that is currently experienced.
“It can be seen as an invitation to all kinds of groups, faith and non-faith, other churches and organisations which have distinctive philosophical approaches to education. This could be in full collaboration with local authorities and non-governmental bodies to diversify our system.
“We are a small enough country to do this within the state system.”