Religious education in Scotland

Authored by: Francis Lyall

The Routledge International Handbook of Religious Education

Print publication date:  August  2012
Online publication date:  February  2013

Print ISBN: 9780415536301
eBook ISBN: 9780203106075
Adobe ISBN: 9781136256424


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The reputation of Scottish education is based on history. Scotland is the northern part of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, having united with England in 1707. In that union the Scottish educational system as separate from that of England was preserved and that has remained the position down the years and through the various arrangements under which Scotland was governed. Presently education is a responsibility of the Scottish Executive and Scottish Parliament under the devolution provisions of the Scotland Act 1998. Amid the population of 5 million people there is a majority of Protestants (of which members of the Church of Scotland, the “Kirk,” are the most numerous), a minority of Roman Catholics, and a growing number of other religions that largely derive from immigration. Some “religious” schools exist, but arrangements for all major religions are made within the state system where numbers justify this and “world religions”form part of the curriculum in public schools. 1 The impact of the incorporation of much of the European Convention on Human Rights (1951) by the Human Rights Act 1998 (c. 42) has not yet been fully ascertained. The Equality Act 2010 (c. 15) consolidates much legislation on human rights, including matters of religion and belief. 2

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