Category Archives: Catholic Education

Caritas Awards, Prize Givings and a Valedictory Mass

I have written before about my pride in the Catholic education being delivered to my daughters at their school in Hamilton, and the good things it brings.

This week has been one where many facets of the Catholic principles espoused by the staff and pupils of John Ogilvie High School have been made clear for all to see.

First of all, let us start on Sunday. I was fortunate enough to be in attendance at the Clyde Auditorium for the second annual presentation of the Pope Benedict XVI Caritas Awards.

As the website of the Scottish Catholic Education Service explains:- Continue reading



Filed under Catholic Church, Catholic Education, Personal

Two Pieces of Recommended Reading – One on Catholic Education and One on Rangers Fans Fighting Fund

Two pieces, amongst many, caught my attention over the weekend.

I commend both, although that does not necessarily mean that I agree with every word in each one. In the latter piece there are a couple of areas where I think the author might not be correct, but these do not affect the thrust of the piece.


The first is by journalist and blogger Andrew McFadyen. It concerns the future of Catholic education in Milngavie, with potential implications for the rest of the country. You can read it by clicking here.

It appears that East Dunbartonshire Council has rejected the overwhelming views of the parents of pupils at St Joseph’s Primary in Milngavie and instead set the wheels in motion to close a successful, popular and busy school.

This comes despite the offer of concessions by the Archdiocese of Glasgow.

As Mr McFadyen writes:-

Councillors should understand that although the vote went against us our fighting spirit is still intact and this is only the beginning. We are not just angry, we are organised. What happens in East Dunbartonshire is now a test case for Catholic education in Scotland.

St Joseph’s is a popular and successful school. It is strongly supported by parents, the wider community and the Church. There are alternative options on the table. If after all this, East Dunbartonshire Council can still shut us down and bring 150 years of Catholic education in Milngavie to an end, then no Catholic school is safe anywhere.

Mr McFadyen provides a link to the online petition opposing the Council’s decision


The second piece relates to various questions regarding the Rangers Fans Fighting Fund, set up last year in the darkest days for the Ibrox club.

The fans rallied round their team magnificently, raising around 2/3 of a million pounds. However, ever since the fund opened, and once its embarrassing link to the website of professional clown Mr Custard was corrected, there have been various questions about the Fund, coming from a number of sources.

This man is not a representative of the Rangers Fans Fighting Fund.

This man is not a representative of the Rangers Fans Fighting Fund.

This came particularly into focus when recently funds from the Fund were used to pay the costs of representation of oldco Rangers before the Nimmo Smith Independent SPL Commission.

Alzipratu has written an update on matters regarding the fund and raised various questions. You can read his piece here.

He also ends his piece with the following aside-

PS: I hope to soon complete a piece on the Rangers Charity Foundation but I leave you, in the meantime, with the rather tantalising information that it is now OSCR’s longest-running investigation (outstripping even Glasgow East Regeneration Agency which involved malpractice and maladministration!). Now why is that?

I wrote last year about the excellent work done by the Rangers Charity Foundation over many years. My focus was upon the change of the Rangers v Milan match which was to be for the RCF into a game where the bulk of the proceeds instead went to the administrators to help keep the company afloat.

Nothing I wrote was intended to diminish the sterling efforts of the staff of the RCF and of its donors in meeting its declared aims.

Alzipratu, as a person in tune with the charitable sector, has pursued this issue and, frankly, I am astonished that the investigation is still, over a year after the event in question, ongoing.

Of course the “Rangers” involvement in this matter was under oldco rather than newco, so it has no direct effect on the new regime. However, as Alzipratu puts it in his preamble to his linked piece, where there are concerns about any particular charity it can lead to a general drop in charitable donations.


Both pieces are worth a read.

As for me, whilst the Whyte v Green story develops faster than I can write about it, I will have some thoughts, possibly posted later in bite-sized pieces, regarding matters.

Posted by Paul McConville


Filed under Catholic Education, Rangers, Recommended Reading

Dundee Sheriff Blames Denominational Schools For the “Blight of Sectarianism” in Scotland

Some thoughts on a remarkable statement from the bench by a Sheriff, seemingly blaming denominational schools for sectarianism.

What can be done where a Sheriff is alleged to have fallen short of the standards of independence and impartiality or where “political” comments have been made?

Have any Sheriffs ever been removed for their political views or statements?

All these questions and more will be answered  below.


Sheriff Richard Davidson has been a resident sheriff at Dundee for about twenty years. During that time he has been an excellent sheriff who, following the maxim coined by Sheriff Irvine Smith, has got to know his Sheriffdom and has allowed his Sheriffdom to get to know him.

As befits a sheriff whose background was as litigation partner in one of Glasgow’s most prestigious firms, he has been able to deploy an excellent legal mind in dealing with the myriad of different cases, civil and criminal, which make up the workload of a sheriff in Scotland in the 21st century. Continue reading


Filed under Catholic Education, Criminal Law, Judiciary and Courts (Scotland) Act 2008, Offensive Behaviour at Football and Threatening Communications (Scotland) Bill

Some Thoughts on Catholic Schools and Education in Scotland

There has been an ongoing discussion in the comments here about Catholic education, and issues arising from faith schools. I thought that it would be useful to write a few thoughts about this myself for two reasons. Firstly I can state my case clearly. Secondly this will provide a forum for readers and commenters on this issue, if of course anyone still has something to add to the debate!


Last night I had the pleasure of attending the Welcome Mass for first year pupils at my children’s High School. The hall was full; the children and the adults sang out, although thankfully more in tune than I was; and Father O’Brien spoke to the children about how wonderful they were and what possibilities awaited them as they moved through the school.

Many teachers turned out, whether to participate in the service, to lead the singing, play piano, or to organise the tea and biscuits afterwards. Many pupils from sixth year in the school came out on a Thursday evening in full uniform to help and to be there as an example for the new pupils. Other pupils came along, where they had siblings amongst the first year pupils. The commitment of teachers and pupils to the spirit of Catholic education is vital. Continue reading


Filed under Catholic Education