Page 2, 28th April 2006

28th April 2006
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Page 2, 28th April 2006 — Atheist teacher faces new court battle
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Atheist teacher faces new court battle

BY MARK GREAVES

GLASGOW CITY Council is to appeal against a landmark ruling that found the council guilty of discriminating against an atheist teacher at a Catholic school.

David McNab was awarded £2,000 compensation after he was denied promotion at St Paul's Roman Catholic School because of his lack of faith.

But the council is determined to overturn the tribunal's decision, which forbids schools in Scotland from reserving particular posts for Catholics, until now a common practice at denominational schools.

Mr McNab, who worked as a maths teacher at the school for 15 years, launched his case against the council after he was barred from applying for a pastoral care teaching job.

The position was part of a system of reserved posts that had to be filled by candidates approved by the Church. Pastoral care teachers would be expected to follow Church teaching on moral issues such as abortion and contraception.

Mr McNab called the council's decision "ridiculous", and complained that the funding for the appeal would come from taxpayers.

The employment tribunal declared that Mr McNab was "unlawfully discriminated against on the grounds of religion", in breach of the Euro

pean Convention on Human Rights. Mr McNab had told the tribunal that he considered his atheism a religion.

According to retired headteacher Eric Hester, the tribunal's decision was part of a wider trend to restrict the rights of Catholic schools. He said: "It would be a nonsense if Catholic schools were not allowed to appoint those who support the ethos of the school. That is what they have always done and what they were founded for."




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