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Civil religion in the UK, Canada, Australia and the Commonwealth

By Norman Bonney,
Manchester University Press, October 2013

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Thursday, 18 July 2013

What are religious representatives on Scotland's education committees for?

I had an early morning radio discussion today on BBC Scotland's 'Good Morning Scotland'' at 6.40am.

It was about the publication by Edinburgh Secular Society of a list of details of 91 religious representatives who are appointed by denominations to serve on Scotland's 32 local authority education committees.

A representative of the Church of Scotland was involved but her defence of the involvement of these ministers,.priests, pastors and church members was that they are good people with skills and knowledge that will assist the committees in their work.

But if the education committees wanted such people they could be found by open competition rather than by exclusive legally required nomination by religious denominations.

The religious contributor, Rev Sally Fulton Foster, Convenor of of Church of Scotland's Church and Society Council claimed there was no hidden religious agenda in these duties but she did not deny the statement in the Council's report to the Annual Assembly that the 'church representatives hold the balance of power' in 19 of Scotland's 32 educational committees.

See the Edinburgh Secular Society's report at

Hear the discussion at BBCRadScot RelReps - NormanB-SallyF-F 2013-07-18.mp3
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