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Previous Action

The action we call for requires a change in primary legislation at Scottish government level. This is not in the gift or power of local councils or other public bodies.

Nevertheless, we have publicised our concerns in this matter, and sought wider public support. ESS has received the following statements from elected members:

Patrick Harvie, MSP for Glasgow:
“In a society in which increasing numbers of people don’t practice any religion, it’s high time that we questioned a practice which gives religious hierarchies an influence over every child’s education. I’m particularly concerned at the involvement of people who would promote utterly unscientific notions like creationism; pushing this absurd ideology at children is the very opposite of education.”

Sandy Howat, City of Edinburgh Councillor:
“Unelected, unaccountable and I would suggest untenable? Undemocratic influence over public education is fundamentally at odds with the principles of respect, equality and shared freedoms. All contributions to committee deliberations should be welcomed, yet continued undemocratic privilege of the few over the many is an outdated tradition we should remove.  As we look to create a fairer Scotland with liberty at its core, we need to ask ourselves what this ‘privilege’ says about our values; it’s time for a new enlightenment.”

Bailie Dr Nina Baker, Glasgow City councillor:
“Whilst I can see that representatives of major world faiths might have a role in advising on curriculum content for the teaching of comparative religion in schools, I believe they should have no right to vote on councils’ decision-making bodies. Those votes should be reserved for accountable, elected members only. A recent contribution from the Roman Catholic representative on Glasgow’s executive was to make clear his church could never accept the principle and practice of shared-campus schools, a policy with full cross-party support.”

Further information is available via the Edinburgh Secular Society website. See link below:

http://edinburghsecularsociety.com/2013/07/17/edinburgh-secular-society-exposes-religious-interference-in-the-heart-of-local-democracy/

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