Church of Scotland asks its members to sign #UpForSchool
Up for School or #upforschool campaign
September 20 has been declared #SignUpSunday – when churches in Scotland and around the world will have the opportunity to stand in solidarity for every child’s right to an education.
Worshippers are being asked to take action this Sunday by joining more than nine million people who have already signed the #UpForSchool Petition, which urges world leaders to keep their promise to provide education for every girl and boy. The Global Faiths Coalition for Education is calling for the worldwide Christian community to follow the lead given by the Church of Scotland – which has made a special video to be played in churches to promote #SignUpSunday.
The Moderator of the Church’s General Assembly, Rt Rev Dr Angus Morrison, said he is backing the initiative because the Church was instrumental in the introduction of universal education in Scotland. Following the Reformation in 1560, one of the first decisions of the General Assembly was to establish a school in every parish.
Dr Morrison said congregations are “heirs to a rich tradition of support for the right of all children to education.” He added: “The purpose was not only to enable everyone to read the Bible for themselves but to give each child a solid start in life. In time that strategy led to the transformation of Scottish society.
“By signing the #UpForSchool Petition now we can all make a significant contribution towards the goal of this being the first generation ever in which all the world’s children will be given a basic education and thus receive their rightful start in life. I hope the video will be shared by our members and the wider public on social media to get the message across.”
The petition – a youth-led campaign organised by A World at School and the Global Faiths Coalition – will be presented to world leaders at the United Nations General Assembly in New York later this month.
Hannah Mary Goodlad, Gordon Brown and Dr Angus Morrison
The Moderator is joined in launching the #SignUpSunday initiative by Hannah Mary Goodlad, Moderator of the Church’s National Youth Assembly, and Gordon Brown, former British prime minister and now United Nations Special Envoy for Global Education.
Miss Goodlad said people have a “collective responsibility” to stand up for the 59 million children currently denied access to any schooling because education is “life-changing and life-saving”.
She added: “We all, regardless of who are, have a collective responsibility to speak up and out for those whose voices have been silenced.”
Mr Brown, whose father was a Church of Scotland minister, will address the UN General Assembly about the importance of education in the new set of post-2015 global goals. He also spoke at a recent gathering of the Church of Scotland’s National Youth Assembly, where he said: “When I talk about education, I am talking about what we can do as citizens of the world to make it possible for every child to have the basic thing we take for granted – the right to a decent education that will give them a proper start in life.
“Let us be the first generation in history where we do bridge the gap between what people are and what they have within themselves to become by ensuring that they have universal education.”
Many celebrities have signed the petition – including Rod Stewart, Shakira, Justin Bieber, Heidi Klum and Miranda Hart. It has also been backed by several international figures such as Kofi Annan and Archbishop Desmond Tutu and by milllions of young activists and ordinary people in many countries around the world.
Joining Sign Up Sunday is easy. You can find #SignUpSunday materials here – including an action pack, downloadable posters and #UpForSchool Petition books. You can also download and print petition forms here.
Take these forms to your church and ask people to add their signature. Don’t forget to take photos and share your experiences on the GFC Education Twitter page. And email [email protected] and let us know when you are ready to send in your signatures.
You can also sign the #UpForschool Petition here.