Motherwell schools ban ‘religious’ leaflet

Muir Street Primary is one of the schools which rejected the church's leaflets

Muir Street Primary is one of the schools which rejected the church's leaflets

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A church was banned from distributing leaflets advertising a popular children’s holiday club to primary schools in Motherwell.

It came amid fears that some religious organisations are using schools to spread what are seen as hardline teachings.

The leaflet spoke only of activities such as crafts, games and Bible stories.

But North Lanarkshire Council leader Jim McCabe has warned that churches wishing to advertise activities in schools will now have to get permission from education officials ‘at the highest level’.

A church in Motherwell has for years been putting out flyers about its school holiday activities, but its attempt to advertise last week’s programme was refused by the head teachers at Knowetop and Muir Street primaries.

A member of the church, who asked not be named, said: “I was taken aback. It’s clear we were refused because we are a church. Have we become an anti-Christian country?

“We have always had a good relationship with the local community, but when we approached the schools with leaflets this time we were told they had to be approved by the head teacher.

“Both schools came back to say they would not accept them.”

The ban follows an apparent change in council policy after a high-profile case in South Lanarkshire last month.

Parents in East Kilbride were angry after the American-based Church of Christ gave books to pupils promoting creationism as opposed to evolution and criticising abortion.

That led to the school’s two head teachers being removed and the church banned from the school where they had worked for a long period.

Councillor McCabe said education bosses had to be ‘cautious’ and consider the views of parents.