17 November 2016
Holyrood update: education
If any issue has been a thorn in the side of the Scottish government in recent times, it's education. The Scottish government has launched a consultation on plans to reform the Scottish education system, with the aim of giving people more say in how education in Scotland is governed.
The hope is to give schools, parents and local communities a more of a say in how schools are run, and ultimately both to reverse the relative decline in Scottish educational standards and to close the attainment gap between the most affluent and least affluent communities across Scotland.
The consultation and changes which may follow could provide a great opportunity for Christians. We are very fortunate that Scotland's Christian heritage is recognised in the Scottish education system, and we believe Christians have much to offer to help develop positive, supportive and encouraging relationships with teachers and other school staff.
Education is not simply the role of the state – parents and churches have a key role to play.
Recent referendums and elections across Britain and in the USA have shown a desire for people to have more control and say over the governance structures in their communities and this is a great opportunity for us to play our part in doing that.
We already have opportunities to support local schools in a number of ways, whether that's volunteering to help with school trips, helping to run groups, provide space for out-of-school activities, and praying for both teachers and young people.
Whilst the Scottish government won't publish the final plans for education reform until next year, this consultation provides us the opportunity to affirm that communities should be given more say in the life of their schools and through that help young people to fulfil their God-given ability.
We will be responding to the Scottish Government's consultation, but it is also open to the general public and can be found here.
Written by Noel Slevin, advocacy volunteer, Scotland