Teachers’ leaders yesterday called on the new Scottish Executive to end the right of the Roman Catholic Church to veto the appointment of teachers in denominational schools.
The demand came after the Scottish Catholic Education Service (SCES) said all teachers applying for a job should demonstrate appropriate “religious belief and character”. The service wants all candidates to provide the name of a referee who can testify to their commitment to Catholic schools as well as agreeing to promote the values set out in the Charter for Catholic Schools in Scotland.
The charter states that teachers should have a commitment to uphold the moral teaching, faith tradition and sacramental life of the Catholic Church and to communicate Catholic social teaching.
Peter Quigley, president of the Educational Institute of Scotland (EIS), Scotland’s largest teaching union, said no qualified teacher who was registered and had passed a Disclosure Check should be denied a job on “religious or moral grounds”.
He said: “It is time for political leaders in Scotland to address the extremely serious implications of this law. How can members of any religious denomination pass judgment on members of another denomination? Why should people justify their beliefs to get employment?”
However, Michael McGrath, director of SCES, argued that the Church was acting with the full support of a law which had been passed to preserve the unique ethos of denominational schools.
Mr McGrath argues the law has not hindered the progress of many teachers who currently work in Catholic schools, but are non-Catholic.
Full story at The Herald.