Precarious Provision and Mixed Messages: Religious Education, School Inspection, and the Law in Scottish Non-Denominational Secondary Schools
Scholes, Stephen C.
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Scholes, S.C. (2022) ‘Precarious provision and mixed messages: religious education, school inspection, and the law in Scottish non-denominational secondary schools’, British Journal of Religious Education, 44(4), pp. 512–527. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1080/01416200.2022.2036101.
The focus of this article is on the legal requirement for schools in Scotland to ensure Religious and Moral Education (RME) is taught to all children in non-denominational secondary schools. In particular, the article pays attention to the mediating role of inspection in the relationship between the legal requirement and provision in schools. The paper is based on the findings from a documentary research project that uses the inspection documentation from fifty-four schools dating from August 2016 to August 2020. The article makes three main contributions. First, it offers fresh evidence on the degree of compliance with legal requirements. Second, it highlights the inspectorates’ role in drawing schools’ attention to the legal requirements surrounding RME. Finally, it is argued that the inspectorate’s mediatory role in relation to the legal requirements is a significant factor in understanding the continuing precariousness of the position of RME in Scottish non-denominational secondary schools.