Is Home-Schooling The Only Meaningful Option For Catholic Parents Today?

“Parents are the first and the most important educators of their own children, and they also possess a fundamental competence in this area; they are educators because they are parents.”       Pope John Paul II 

… Seton Home Study School [is] here to assist parents with their educational duties. We help by providing counseling by phone, message boards, fax, and e-mail. We also provide daily lesson plans, testing services, books, software, videos, online testing, online audio lectures, and other educational materials for Catholic homeschooling. 
Seton serves an enrollment of approximately 10,000 students, and several thousand more families through book sales and by furnishing materials to small Catholic schools. Click here to find out more about the Seton Home School Programme.
 
Comment:
Seton is an American programme but by far the best out there, according to the several parents in Scotland with whom I’ve discussed the subject – my own great-nephews love it – and if you click here, you will read some glowing testimonials from both parents and students.  Parents who fear that they are not equipped to home-school, should have their fears allayed after perusing the Seton website, with its wealth of materials and online support from professional teachers.  You will even note the “chat” facility at the right hand side of the screen…  
Feel free, however, to recommend other programmes, and share your thoughts about the concept of home-schooling but before you do, it would be worth watching the video below – towards the end, after his devastating critique of the American school system [which mirrors what is happening in the UK] Michael Matt reveals that his own children were successfully home-educated.  After you see the film (takes around 30 minutes), tell us whether or not you think that  home-schooling is the only real option open to parents who wish to ensure that their offspring are taught the Faith right across the curriculum,  in order to cultivate a Catholic world-view, something which  was once integral to any true Catholic school but which, now, is never mentioned. Share your thoughts…

 

Scotland: Bigotry Official… Anti-Catholic Petition Heard in Holyrood

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[Catholic] Politics news Alert

16 January 2014

 Have your say on the role of Church representatives on
Education Committees

 Responding to proposals to remove the obligation on local authorities
to appoint  religious representatives to Education Committees

Background

In recent times in Scotland, various groups have been making attempts to bring about changes to legislation in order to limit the presence of religion in public life, particularly in schools.  John Finnie MSP is currently consulting on his proposal for a Bill in the Scottish Parliament to change the current arrangements whereby Councils are obliged to make 3 places available for Church representatives on their Education Committees.  This follows on a recent petition to the Scottish Parliament which has resulted in a wider review of this issue.  There is a danger that, if the main voices raised in this debate are secular, the contribution of Church representatives to Council discussions of Education issues could be lost.

Why are there Church representatives on Council Education Committees?

Long before education authorities ever existed, schools had been established and were run by the Churches.  So, when they were transferred over to be managed, initially by local Public School Boards and later by local education authorities, the ongoing involvement and expertise of Church representatives was seen to be invaluable.

Today, the majority of schools are non-denominational, and Churches are not directly involved, although religious education and religious observance are still part of standard school provision.

Denominational schools, which educate approximately 20% of Scotland’s school pupils, offer an ethos and values which emerge from their particular religious traditions and they work closely with local parish communities.  Their approach is supported by a legislative framework which governs both the appointment of teaching staff and the content of religious and moral education programmes.

[What] is the argument for having Church representatives today?

Those people who are nominated by the Churches to contribute to the work of education committees live in the local community.  Most are laypeople people and many have significant experience of working in senior education posts.   Their contributions are focussed on the needs of the local community and are influenced by their own particular expertise.  Their input to the local democratic process is often greatly appreciated by education officials and by elected representatives.  Like other non-elected members on Councils, they freely give up their own time to serve their local communities and operate on a non-political basis.  In short, they make an invaluable contribution.

Catholic schools were “transferred” into state ownership in 1918 in the same Education Act which established local education authorities.  That arrangement came about as a result of assurances given that the specific characteristic of the Catholic school would be protected in legislation.  One of the mechanisms for monitoring the State’s ongoing commitment to those assurances is the presence of a Catholic Church representative on every Council where there are Catholic schools.  While Catholic Church representatives play a wider role than merely safeguarding Catholic schools, their role in doing so is seen by the Church as vital to the welfare of Catholic schools.  Thus the Church is opposed to any attempt to dispense with the role of Church representatives on Education Committees.

How you can help

1       Respond to the consultation on the Proposed Local Government Acccountability and Transparency (Scotland) Bill which can be found at http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/parliamentarybusiness/Bills/69470.aspx

Responses are due by 27th January 2014 and comments can be sent by  email to  john.finnie.msp@scottish.parliament.uk

or by post to

John Finnie MSP

Room M3.19

Scottish Parliament

Edinburgh EH99 1SP

2       Contact your MSP with your views on this proposed bill.

3       Contact your local Council to let them know your views on the proposed Bill.

Catholic Schools In Ireland No More…

 Catholic Schools In Ireland No More...

Strange things are afoot in Ireland. It has been announced that from 2014, all children in the rapidly expanding multi-denominational school sector will be taught atheism in a course based on books like Richard Dawkins’ The Magic of Reality. This is the first ever atheist curriculum in Ireland, and – like it or loathe it – it is groundbreaking.

Click on picture of shamrock to read the rest of the article.

Evolution: Theory or Dogma?

Evolution:  Theory or Dogma?

TWO headteachers at a Scottish primary school who allowed members of a US creationist Christian religious sect into classrooms have been removed from their posts, it emerged last night.

Headteacher Alexandra MacKenzie and her deputy Elizabeth Mockus – who job-share at Kirktonholme Primary School in East Kilbride – are to be “redeployed” to backroom duties while South Lanarkshire Council carries out an investigation,

Education chiefs want to determine why the Church of Christ sect had been allowed into the school to work as classroom assistants for the last eight years.

South Lanarkshire Council last night issued a statement confirming both 
senior teachers had been removed from their posts and temporary headteachers put in their place.

Click on picture to read Scotsman report in full.