Petitioner: Spencer Fildes on behalf of Scottish Secular Society
16 November 2016
Calling on the Scottish Parliament to urge the Scottish Government to remove the constitutional anomaly that imposes unelected Church appointees on Local Authority Education Committees.
24 November 2016: The Committee agreed to write to the Scottish Government, COSLA, Scottish Parent Teacher Council, Association of Directors of Education in Scotland, Scottish Catholic Education Service, Educational Institute of Scotland, Interfaith Scotland, Muslim Council of Scotland, Equality and Human Rights Commission Scotland, Church of Scotland Education Committee and Humanist Society Scotland. Link to Official Report 24 November 2016
2 February 2017: The Committee agreed to write to the Scottish Government. Link to Official Report 2 February 2017
- Is it acceptable that some positions on Council Education Committees are restricted to adherents of a specific religion?
- Should Councils be free to decide for themselves whether or not to co-opt representatives of religion to their Education Committees?
- Should unelected representatives of religion be making decisions about the education of children whose parents are not of that religion, also in many and perhaps most cases, unlikely to be religious?
- If representatives of religion have special insights that they wish to share, could they more simply do this by presenting evidence to the Education Committee, or indeed by standing for election in their own right?
- How can Church appointees avoid real or apparent conflicts of interest?
- How could the general public be made more aware of the existence of these unelected appointees?
- Assuming the status quo does not change, should Scottish Council Education Committee's be proactively seeking to redress the democratic imbalance by aiming to recruit from other faiths?