David Henderson and Neil Munro report from the Catholic headteachers' annual conference in Crieff
Education for citizenship, Lachie McCallum said, was important to established and emerging democracies facing problems with groups of young people who felt excluded from their societies and alienated from the process of schooling and the value systems represented by schools.
Underlying that was rapid and unpredictable change, unemployment and the changing nature of work, health and housing difficulties in inner cities, with tensions from increased cultural, religious and social diversity.
"Essentially, education for citizenship matters. It is a major focus for attention in the work of the Council of Europe with the expansion of the European Union as a driver," Mr McCallum said.