A voting box bearing a religious symbol

Fair School Votes

In Scotland the law requires that each council reserves three seats for local church leaders on their education committee. These seats are unelected and in most areas full voting rights are conferred on the seat holders. We think this is wrong. Our Fair School Votes campaign calls for an end to this outdated and undemocratic system.

The problem

Every local authority education committee in Scotland is required by law to include three unelected seats for local religious representatives. In most local authority areas representatives are given the same voting rights as the other democratically elected members of the committee.  Education committees deal with all decisions involved in the running of local schools, including major decisions such as school closures, teacher numbers, and education policy. 

This three seat religious rule is a throwback to the religious origins of Scotland’s state schools and is an anachronism in a Scotland that is majority non-religious. Unelected and unaccountable religious representatives (and by extension the religious organisations that they represent) should not be able to influence how Scottish schools are run. 

The solution

We want the Scottish Government to rescind guidance that requires local authorities to have three unelected religious representatives on local education committees. Education committee representatives should be composed of representatives who are democratically chosen and accountable to the communities that they represent. 

Our campaign

Through our Fair School Votes campaign we hope to work with the Scottish Government and local authorities to remove the legal requirement for religious representation on Scottish education committees. Whilst the requirement stands we are working with Scotland’s 32 local authorities to remove voting rights from the three local representatives.

Sign the petition

Sign our Fair School Votes petition which calls on the Scottish Government to rescind legislation that requires local authorities to have three unelected religious representatives on them.

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