Lesson in history

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I share the concern of Gary McLelland (Letters, 26 July) about the state of Scottish education and the way that the whole system is run. However, it seems that the Edinburgh Secular Society is unaware of the historical and legal reasons for religious representatives being on education committees.

The current arrangement exists because the churches handed over their schools to the state on the understanding that the schools would be divided into Roman Catholic and non-denominational, not non-Christian.

As part of that arrangement the churches were granted representation on local council education committees.

Secularists, like Mr McLelland, wish to change that, and to do so on the basis that church membership in Scotland is falling.

I find this somewhat ironic given that the Edinburgh Secular Society and other secular societies have a membership that can be measured in hundreds while the churches have hundreds of thousands.

As previously mentioned 
(Letters, 25 July), why should 
the unelected handful of members of the Edinburgh Secular
Society dictate to the rest of the population what type of education system we should have?

The mistake that secularists are making is to assume that their secularist position is de facto the only true and neutral one. This is a position that is as fundamentalist as any that the most extreme religious fundamentalists offer.

If the secularists want to renege on the current agreement then perhaps it is time to let the churches run their own schools again. Then parents will have a real choice.

Gordon Bell

The Free Church of
Scotland

The Mound

Edinburgh

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