Our Schools: A History
Scotland now has 369 Catholic schools, serving over 120,000 pupils, with their popularity ever increasing among Catholic and non-Catholic families.
Catholic schools in Scotland begin to re-emerge in the modern era during a 19th century which saw the arrival of a large influx of immigrants from Ireland into an urbanising Scotland where primary education was becoming compulsory. Catholic schools, however, remained independent of the state with 188 Catholic schools serving 58,000 pupils by 1900.
1918 Education (Scotland) Act brought Catholic schooling into the state system. The law permitted the country’s 224 Catholic schools, serving 94,000 pupils, to retain their distinct religious character in both staffing and curriculum.
“For nearly 100 years, Roman Catholic schools have been part of the Scottish education system,” said Education Secretary John Swinney MSP in 2017, “The Scottish Government welcomes the positive contribution that denominational education has made in ensuring we have successful learners, effective contributors, responsible citizens and confident individuals.”