CATHOLIC EDUCATION WEEK - 'Teaching Values for Life'

27th January to 2nd February 2008

The Catholic community in Scotland will celebrate the achievements of Catholic education during the week 27th January to 2nd February 2008.

This year's celebration has a particular significance, as 2008 marks the 90th anniversary of the 1918 Education Act which initiated the transfer of Catholic schools over to local education authority management.

An important part of Catholic Education Week is the annual Cardinal Winning Education Lecture which takes place in the Bute Hall,Main Building, University of Glasgow on Saturday 2nd February. This year it will be delivered by First Minister Alex Salmond and will be attended by members of the Scottish Catholic Hierarchy, the Catholic Education Commission, teachers, parents and clergy. The First Minister will speak on the theme:
"Celebrating Catholic Education in Scotland: reflections on partnership from 1918 to date, and beyond." The First minister, will reflect on the 90th anniversary of the 1918 Education Act, highlight the achievements of Catholic schools, celebrate their distinctiveness and look to their ongoing development in Scotland.

Each year the Catholic Education Commission selects a theme to provide a focus for special events, activities and work in homes, schools and parishes. This year's theme - 'Teaching Values for Life' - is intended to strike a particular chord with parents who are responsible for instilling values in their children. Parents are encouraged to consider how best to
help them to understand and embrace such values as tolerance, honesty, forgiveness, and modesty.

Teachers are encouraged to consider how, through the learning experiences they offer, young people will acquire the values which are important to their own lives and to the welfare of our Scottish nation - the values of Wisdom, Justice, Compassion and Integrity. These values should be at the heart of the curriculum in Scotland's schools.

Commenting on the week, the President of the Bishops' Conference of Scotland, Cardinal Keith O'Brien said:

"We are grateful for the First Minister's affirmation that Scottish Catholic education is in such good shape. We all know that many approximately 120,000 parents choose to enrol their children in Catholic schools because they offer quality education and formation which is characterised by an explicit set of values and a distinctive ethos. It is encouraging to know that the First Minister and the Scottish Government will ensure that the choice of Catholic schooling will continue to be available to parents in
Scotland."  

Commenting on Catholic Education Week, Fiona Hyslop, Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning said:

Catholic schools form an important part of Scotland s rich tapestry of education, providing firm foundations in learning and life for thousands of children.  

Faith schools instil their pupils with a strong and positive ethos and pride in their school. Combining the opportunity to learn more about their faith, high quality teaching and a comprehensive and wide-ranging curriculum, all adds up to a very positive learning experience for many pupils.

Catholic schools offer choice and diversity for parents and communities, enrich the education options available for pupils and are an integral and valued part of Scotland s education system.


Responding to the Education Minister's remarks, Michael McGrath, Director of the Scottish catholic Education service said: "I thank Fiona Hyslop, for her gracious comments on the valued contribution of Catholic schools to Scotland's education system. During this Catholic Education Week, it is gratifying to note that the Scottish Government recognises the very positive learning experience which Catholic schools offer to young people."

ENDS

Peter Kearney  
Director  
Catholic Media Office
5 St. Vincent Place
Glasgow  
G1 2DH  
0141 221 1168
07968 122291  
pk@scmo.org  
www.scmo.org


Note to Editors:
1. To register for The Cardinal Winning Education Lecture contact Clare
Laidlaw, Corporate Communications (University of Glasgow)
C.Laidlaw@admin.gla.ac.uk or 0141 330 4978

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