PROUD STORY OF 100 YEARS
Schools mark centenery
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