National goal for anti-bigotry campaign

27th June 1997 at 01:00
A national launch of the anti-bigotry initiative, promoted in the past year by Glasgow's education department and Celtic Football Club, could be in the offing following a seminar last week attended by several education authority representatives.

The suggestion that the initiative, which has become a "promoting positive behaviour" project for educational purposes, should go nationwide came from Bob McKay, director of education in Perth and Kinross. He believed many authorities would sign up for it and that other football clubs should be invited to take part.

Ken Corsar, the director in Glasgow, said the clubs should be seen as a valuable educational resource in such a project.

The anti-bigotry drive in schools had its origins in January last year when Celtic launched its Bhoys Against Bigotry campaign, in a bid to stamp out sectarianism at matches and promote tolerance. Glasgow then launched its positive behaviour project in association with the club last September.

Malcolm Green, the city's education convener, told the seminar there had been a take-up of around 100 schools in the first year which was "very encouraging". The split was 5050 between Catholic and non-denominational schools.

Fergus McCann, Celtic's managing director, said he had seen the benefits of the project including pupils in schools across the religious divide talking to each other for the first time.

Teachers and pupils from St Rose of Lima Primary, Lourdes Secondary and Hillhead High outlined how the project was incorporated into their curriculum. Larry Flannigan, principal English teacher at Hillhead High, said: "It worked very effectively. There's an interest there which can be built on."

The initiative was officially endorsed by the presence of Brian Wilson, the Education Minister, who has also written an official history of Celtic. He said it supported the 5-14 guidelines which emphasised the importance of pupils being able to understand and apply principles of fairness, justice and tolerance.

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