History of SJCRME

In 1914 The General assembly of the Church of Scotland authorised its Committee on the Religious Instruction of Youth to confer with the Youth Committee of the United Free Church on the whole matter of Religious Instruction in Public Schools and to look at the possibility of producing a Syllabus of Religious Instruction as a guide for School Boards.

Representatives of the committees of these two Churches met together forming a Joint Committee to undertake this task, and in 1918 invited representatives from the Educational Institute of Scotland to join them and assist them. This was the beginning of what was called the Scottish Joint Committee on Religious Education.

The Education Act of 1918 with its recognition of a place for Religious Instruction in Schools gave impetus to the need for the kinds of publications which the Joint Committee saw as its aim to provide.

In the early 1920's the precedent of having Joint Secretaries (Churches and EIS), was established and in time other Christian churches and educational bodies were incorporated into the Committee though the EIS and the Church of Scotland continued to be the major partners.

Over the years up until the early 1970's the Scottish Joint Committee produced Syllabuses and Handbooks for Religious Education. In recent times it has organised Conferences for teachers and for students, and adopted a policy of co-operation between Church and School which has gained the approval of teachers and Education Authorities throughout the country.

In 1996 the Scottish Joint Committee on Religious Education changed its constitution and invited representatives from the nation's other faith communities to join it, in recognition of the multi-cultural nature of contemporary Scottish society and the potential for the enrichment of religious education which results from this. It also incorporated Moral education in its title to reflect the increased concern with this area of the curriculum.

The work of the SJCRME

Today the SJCRME acts as a major pressure group concerned with the promotion of religious and moral education as an effective educational experience in Scottish Schools.


Scottish Joint Committee for Religious and Moral Education