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Greens ‘don’t want Catholic schools’ in Scotland, says Church education chief ahead of election

England and Wales Green Party leader Natalie Bennett joins Patrick Harvie and other Scottish Greens on the campaign trail (PA)

Voting Green in this Thursday’s election for the Scottish parliament is a vote to end Catholic education in the nation, according to the Church’s education chief in Scotland.

Michael McGrath, director of the Scottish Catholic Education Service, said that the Green party policy would bring an end to state-funded Catholic education in Scotland.

Although the policy was left out of the Green manifesto, McGrath accused the Green party of intolerance towards faith schools. “They don’t want Catholic schools and it’s important the electorate know that voting Green means you’re voting to end Catholic schools,” he said.

He added: “I would be interested to know what the thinking behind that policy is. It doesn’t seem to be about tolerating other people’s wishes, or allowing parental choices, but instead imposing a one size fits all system contrary to all developments in education all over the world.”

In a reference to the party not including the policy in their manifesto he said: “They’re trying to cover their tracks. They should be brave enough to stand behind their policy. They should be transparent about their desire to end Catholic schools.”

A spokesman for the Greens said: “The Scottish Greens’ policy remains to move toward an non-denominational education system in Scotland. The focus of this is not to close down schools but for greater integration.”