Cuts imposed on the new councils could put religious education at risk, the Church of Scotland's education committee stated yesterday (Thursday) in a report prepared for the General Assembly in May.
An "already understaffed and vulnerable" subject will come under new pressure from the Higher Still reforms, the committee warns. Like personal and social development, it "could be squeezed out of the curriculum in favour of what may appear to be more vocationally profitable subjects such as 'care', 'hospitality', or 'travel and tourism'."
There is a welcome for the new Higher courses in religious, moral and philosophical studies. But the report notes: "If the workload is not to become too intolerable, urgent attention will need to be paid to the employment of more religious education teachers."
Student hardship is of particular concern. "Mature students . . . may have the added responsibilities of families to support and a mortgage to pay. Nowadays almost all candidates for the ministry would fall into this category."