No appeal to Privy Council

29th January 1999 at 00:00
THE governors of St Andrew's College have decided against involving the Privy Council in their determination to ensure continuance of Roman Catholic teacher training once the college is merged with Glasgow University.

At a meeting last week the governors agreed to ask only for a resolution by Glasgow's court, the university's highest level of authority, to establish a board of Catholic education.

Bart McGettrick, principal of St Andrew's, told The TES Scotland that the governors had faced a choice. "Either we regard the board of Catholic education as mainly an internal matter for the university and rely therefore on a resolution by the court, or we say it is a matter of national interest and pursue a new university ordinance through the Privy Council. The board of governors decided to trust the university."

Professor McGettrick has now written to the Secretary of State and Cardinal Thomas Winning, head of the Catholic Church in Scotland, to tell them of the decision. A go-ahead from Donald Dewar for amalgamation later this year is expected soon.

The board will "maintain an overview of teacher education for students preparing to teach in Catholic schools" and will ensure that "courses in RE for students and teachers in Catholic education meet the requirements of the Bishops' Conference". But its views will not be binding on the university.

The decision not to invoke the Privy Council is a relief to some leading university figures who were unhappy with a permanent ordinance. They argued that the university should be free to arrange its internal affairs as circumstances change.

HEADLINE:Never mind the petition, just ask them SECTION:Home news NO PHYSICAL FILEA REFERENDUM is to be held on the name for the new combined Nicolson Institute and Lews Castle School in Stornoway, despite a petition signed by 7,651 people calling for the retention of the Nicolson name.

On a 10-9 vote at the Western Isles education committee, councillors backed a final decision on a name. The Electoral Reform Society will set five questions and conduct the poll, at a cost of pound;4,000.

Callum Iain Macmillan said the existing petition was proof of the public's feelings but Donald A Mackay, vice-chairman, said he had promised a referendum on the name from the outset. People would have been deceived by a U-turn. Donald Macdonald said if the council had as many lay-bys as it had U-turns islanders would be well off.

The appointments of headteacher and two deputes on fixed-term contracts would be made by the education committee and not the school board.

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