Statement by Michael McGrath, Director of the Scottish Catholic Education Service on Shared Campus Arrangements.
"Church cannot accept integrated teaching or merged services, "integrated" arrangements which diluted the Christian message would be totally unacceptable to the Catholic Church"
"Shared campus arrangements should lead to improved provision of Catholic education not precipitate its demise"
Speaking at a meeting of Catholic Primary and Secondary Head Teachers of the Archdiocese of St Andrews and Edinburgh at the Gillis Centre, Edinburgh on Thursday 13 November 2003, in the presence of His Eminence Cardinal Keith Patrick O Brien, Mr. Michael McGrath said;
"The earliest days of the new shared campus arrangements for secondary schools in Dalkeith have been the focus of much media attention, and some uninformed comment, on the nature and purpose of such arrangements. To prevent further misunderstanding, I wish to clarify the Catholic Church s attitude to shared campus arrangements. I do so, knowing that in this Archdiocese you have been operating these arrangements for 30 years. Your experience will be helpful to Catholic communities presently engaged in shaping shared campus arrangements. We share the hope that these arrangements will lead to improved provision of Catholic education."
"The Catholic philosophy of education can only be fully delivered by teachers who are adequately trained and supported and are themselves committed to it. Teachers do not impart Gospel values only in programmes of Religious Education, but throughout the curriculum and across the whole life of the school. Catholic schooling, involves developing Catholic values, religious education, spiritual and moral formation and a commitment to serve the common good, all within a supportive climate which affirms the life and dignity of each person. Such a mission could not be adequately delivered through an education which is not faithful to the values of the Gospel. In an ˜integrated school community, where efforts would require to be made to suit the wide range of views held by all members, the Christian message would be diluted. For some people, this might be a desirable outcome; for the Catholic community it is totally unacceptable."
Mr McGrath concluded
"In all cases where we have agreed to the provision of a Catholic school on a shared campus facility, there has been no acceptance of integrated teaching or merged services which are not under the direction of the Catholic Head Teacher. Every shared campus Catholic school is expected to have its own staff, its own curriculum and its own ethos and identity. These must be developed and expressed in ways which are consistent with our own tradition and our current needs."
Contact; Michael McGrath - 0141 556 4727 or 07793 746094
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