PROUD STORY OF 100 YEARS

Schools mark cen­ten­ery

Airdrie & Coatbridge Advertiser - - Heartless -

Rep­re­sen­ta­tives from schools across Mon­k­lands took part in an event to mark 100 years of Catholic ed­u­ca­tion.

They joined their La­nark­shire­based peers in gath­er­ing at Mother­well Con­cert Hall to hon­our the cen­te­nary of the 1918 Ed­u­ca­tion Act (Scot­land).

Prior to the in­tro­duc­tion of the Act, Catholic com­mu­ni­ties, tra­di­tion­ally from poor im­mi­grant back­grounds, paid their rates for school­ing like ev­ery­one else – but also paid to build, staff and run their own schools.

A spokesper­son for the Mother­well Dio­cese ex­plained: “The Ed­u­ca­tion Act brought eq­uity for our Catholic chil­dren as from then on, the state funded Catholic schools while al­low­ing them to re­tain their own ap­proval sys­tem and faith-based ethos.

“Catholic schools have thrived from then on, so much so that many non-Catholics also chose to send their chil­dren to Catholic schools.

“We are very proud of our in­clu­sive na­ture and strive to be part of, and in­deed serve, the lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties where our schools are found.”

There are 74 Catholic pri­mary schools and 12 Catholic sec­ondary schools within the Dio­cese, which be­long to North and South La­nark­shire coun­cils, as well as Glas­gow City Coun­cil.

The 100-year mile­stone was marked by a civic re­cep­tion at the con­cert hall.

Ev­ery head teacher, plus one pupil and one par­ent from ev­ery Catholic school in the Dio­cese, was in­vited to at­tend.

The evening was also at­tended by North La­nark­shire provost Jean Jones and her South La­nark­shire coun­ter­part Ian McAl­lan, and fea­tured a per­for­mance from the North La­nark­shire Coun­cil School Choir.

Provost Jones said: “Catholic ed­u­ca­tion is alive and well in La­nark­shire. Each day thou­sands of pupils ben­e­fit from the pos­i­tive ethos which ex­ists in the 86 Catholic schools within La­nark­shire, all of which are mak­ing a very pos­i­tive con­tri­bu­tion to lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties as well as sup­port­ing char­i­ties over­seas. Catholic schools are not just good for Catholics, but they are good for Scot­land as a whole, as they wel­come pupils of all faiths and em­brace other re­li­gions all over the world through learn­ing part­ner­ships.”

Provost McAl­lan added: “The 1918 Ed­u­ca­tion (Scot­land) Act en­abled an un­prece­dented agree­ment be­tween church and state re­gard­ing the pro­vi­sion of ed­u­ca­tion.

“It of­fered an op­por­tu­nity for the vol­un­tary Catholic schools to en­ter the state-funded school sys­tem while at the same time legally re­tain­ing and safe­guard­ing their Catholic de­nom­i­na­tional fea­tures.”

His Lord­ship, Bishop Joseph Toal, praised the event, say­ing: “The civic re­cep­tion was a won­der­ful cel­e­bra­tion of Catholic schools and reaf­firmed and ce­mented the part­ner­ship be­tween our dio­cese and both North and South La­nark­shire coun­cils.

“The Dio­cese of Mother­well is very grate­ful to both coun­cils and our own 2018 com­mit­tee who or­gan­ised the event.”

In­vited guests Rep­re­sen­ta­tives from schools through­out the Dio­cese were in at­ten­dance

Heart­felt speech South La­nark­shire’s Provost, Ian McAl­lan

Sup­port North La­nark­shire Provost Jean Jones

Very grate­ful Bishop Joseph Toal speaks at the event

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