Church Approval

The relevant legislation on the management of denominational schools in Scotland states: "A teacher appointed to any post on the staff of any such school by the education authority. . . shall be required to be approved as regards religious belief and character by representatives of the church or denominational body in whose interest the school has been conducted. "

Guidance for teachers seeking Approval

To enable Councils to fulfil their statutory responsibilities, the Catholic Church requires to be assured that the personal "religious belief and character" of a teacher is appropriate to the duties associated with the teaching post for which he/she has applied.

When seeking approval, a teacher must demonstrate how his/her personal “religious belief and character” enables him/her to undertake the duties of the particular teaching post within the context of a Catholic school, with its particular mission, values and ethos, as outlined in A Charter for Catholic Schools in Scotland.

All teachers who seek approval must provide a reference from a suitable person who can testify to the teacher’s personal “religious belief and character”. The reference for a Catholic teacher must be provided by the teacher’s parish priest who should be able to testify to the teacher’s personal “religious belief and character”.

For those teaching posts which impact on the teaching of Religious Education, teachers will be expected to provide evidence of having obtained an appropriate teaching qualification in Catholic Religious Education.

Summary of action required

Step 1

At the time when you apply for a post in a Catholic school, you should complete Form A and forward it promptly to the Diocese where the post is vacant (cf Diocesan Contacts list). NB Please ensure that, when posting your application, you use the correct postage rate, as your application may not be delivered if the correct postage rate has not been paid.

Step 2

If you are applying for a post as a “Supply teacher” or as a “Probationer” teacher, you should indicate this in the space provided for details of the school and post.

Step 3

You must provide a statement to demonstrate how your personal “religious belief and character” will enable you to undertake the duties associated with the particular post in the Catholic school for which you have applied. As well as referring to these duties, you are advised to consider the distinctive features of a Catholic school as outlined in A Charter for Catholic Schools in Scotland.

Step 4

You must include a photocopy of your Catholic Teacher’s Certificate or Catholic Religious Education certificate if you have one.

Step 5

You must provide the name of a suitable professional person who can testify to your personal “religious belief and character”. (A second name is only necessary if the first referee fails to provide a reference.) N.B. If you are Catholic, you must provide the name of your parish priest who should be able to testify to your personal “religious belief and character”.

Step 6

You should also complete the relevant section of Form B, taking care to provide the contact details of the appropriate Diocese. You should take Form B promptly to your referee, asking him/her to return the completed Form B directly to the Diocese.

Step 7

The Bishop will consider the statements in both forms to determine if he can give approval to your appointment in this post. His main concern will be to ensure that your personal “religious belief and character” are suitable for the particular post for which you are applying.

Step 8

If the Bishop judges that he cannot approve your appointment, he will communicate his reasons to you in writing. He will also inform you of your right to appeal this decision.

NB When downloading and printing any of the attached documents, please ensure that your printer is set for A4 paper.  It is vital that your completed Form A and Form B provide appropriate signatures.


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