Religious reps voting on education not a legal requirement

Humanist Society Scotland (HSS) has welcomed a statement from the Scottish Government that the long-standing practice of giving religious representatives the right to vote on education matters at local authority level is not a legal requirement.

Humanist Society Scotland want local authorities to remove voting rights on education from religious representatives.

HSS has now written to the leaders of each of Scotland’s 32 local authorities asking them to remove voting rights to ensure such decisions are taken by elected councillors.

Today Perth and Kinross Council voted to remove voting rights from religious representatives after such votes led to the closure of Blaringone primary school in Kinross-shire.

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Fraser Sutherland, HSS campaigns manager, said: “We are delighted to hear that Perth and Kinross Council has voted to ensure decisions relating to education and schools are taken by individuals who are accountable for their decisions to the electorate.

“We hope other local authorities in Scotland who still have voting church representatives will urgently review their procedures like Perth and Kinross have done today.

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“It is clear important decisions relating to education should be done on a democratic basis by people who can be held to account by the electorate. We hope local authorities will urgently review procedures.”