50 Scottish pupils given detention for skipping Mass

The annual Patrons Day Mass at the New Stevenston school was attended by the Bishop of Motherwell, Joseph Toal. Picture: Alan Watson.

The annual Patrons Day Mass at the New Stevenston school was attended by the Bishop of Motherwell, Joseph Toal. Picture: Alan Watson.

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AROUND 50 pupils who failed to attend Mass at a Catholic school near Motherwell have been handed detentions.

North Lanarkshire Council has said the punishments, given out to Taylor High School pupils who left school instead of attending the September 30 service, are for truancy.

The annual Patron’s Day Mass at the New Stevenston school was attended by the Bishop of Motherwell, Joseph Toal, and was a memorial service for two teachers who died earlier in the year. It is believed a letter was sent to parents informing them that all pupils were expected to be there.

Compulsory attendance at school religious services has come in for some criticism recently, with the United Nations committee calling for the law to be scrapped.

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Nicola Daley, acting head teacher at the Roman Catholic school, said: “Our entire school held its annual Patron’s Day Mass on Friday September 30, with Bishop Joseph Toal as its principal celebrant.

“The theme for the celebration was Saint Teresa of Calcutta (formerly Mother Teresa) and highlighted her work with the poor.

“It was also a memorial service for two members of our staff who died in May 2016 after giving years of service to the school. Their invaluable contribution to the school community was highlighted during the service.

“Regrettably, a small number of pupils, who had attended school in the morning, opted to truant in the afternoon and miss the service.

“The pupils have been subject to school discipline as a consequence of their actions.”

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