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Last Updated: Tuesday, 15 June, 2004, 13:13 GMT 14:13 UK
Catholic school charter launched
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The charter aims to highlight Catholic education
The Catholic Church has launched a charter for its schools in Scotland to highlight the benefits of education at faith schools.

Scotland currently has 428 Roman Catholic schools, both primary and secondary.

The charter will be issued to all of these schools, as well as to directors of education in each local authority and also to teaching unions.

It comes at a time when separate religious education is being debated.

Bishop Joseph Devine, president of the Catholic education commission, said the charter was a significant statement recognising the contribution made by Catholic schools to Scottish society.

The Catholic Church in Scotland has already appointed a leading educationalist to promote its faith schools.

Michael McGrath, 50, a headteacher in Cumbernauld, was named as the church's director of education last year.

Mr McGrath said: "This charter will provide a kind of shorthand, a crib sheet almost, of the very positive features we offer in Catholic schools and how they can make a contribution to Scottish society."

The move to recruit a "tsar" to promote Catholic education was made in a bid to dispel negative perceptions.

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