Faith Schools

Education is devolved to the Scottish Parliament and, as such, any proposals by the UK Government on this matter will not impact Scotland and any decisions on the Scottish education system would be for the Scottish Government and MSPs in Holyrood to consider.


Currently, the setup in Scotland is different to England. Admissions policies for denominational schools are a matter for individual local authorities, and as such are not determined by the Scottish Government or by individual schools and so there is no blanket admissions cap policy for the whole of Scotland.


In Scotland, admissions policies of local authorities in respect of denominational schools may not directly discriminate against potential pupils not of the religion in whose interests the schools in question are carried on, but they may prioritise potential pupils who are of the religion in question. The selection of pupils for admission to denominational schools by having regard to their or their parents’ religion is not considered to be unlawfully discriminatory under the terms of the Equality Act 2010.


Scotland has 370 state-funded faith schools – 366 Catholic, one Jewish and three Episcopalian. The SNP believe that these schools play an important and necessary part in education in Scotland and we believe it’s important for parents and pupils to have the choice to attend a faith school, if they want to.


Current legislation means that all local authorities must provide religious education and religious observance in Scottish schools and Religious and Moral Education and Religious Education in Roman Catholic Schools within Scotland’s school curriculum still remains an important part of pupil’s education in Scotland. Indeed, these subjects have been included as one of the eight core areas of the Curriculum for Excellence, which was introduced in 2014, and will continues to help contribute to the development of the knowledge and skills necessary to enable children and young people to be successful learners, confident individuals, effective contributors and responsible citizens.


Information on admissions to Primary and Secondary education in West Dunbartonshire can be found by clicking here