Publication - FOI/EIR release

Information on Scottish curriculum relating to animals rights and veganism: FOI release

Published: 25 Oct 2018

Information request and response under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002.

Published:
25 Oct 2018
Information on Scottish curriculum relating to animals rights and veganism: FOI release
FOI reference: FOI/18/02879
Date received: 9 October 2018  
Date responded: 24 October 2018
 
Information requested
 
You asked for the following information: 
 
  • is animal rights covered in the Scottish school curriculum?
  • if yes, where and how? 
  • is this a compulsory aspect of the curriculum for all children? 
  • what specifically is covered in the course work? 
  • are schools permitted to decide individually what precisely will be covered or is there set coursework? 
  • is veganism covered in the Scottish curriculum? 
  • if yes, where and how? 
  • is this a compulsory aspect of the curriculum for all children? 
  • what specifically is covered in the course work? 
  • are schools permitted to decide individually what precisely will be covered or is there set coursework? 
  • are businesses involved in the Scottish school curriculum in any way? 
  • if yes, how? 
  • do businesses provide any course materials for Scottish schools? 
  • if yes, what and which businesses? 
  •  do businesses go into Scottish schools and take part in delivery of education? 
  •  if yes, how and when? 
     
Response
 
Curriculum for Excellence (CfE) provides a broad set of national guidance to support schools in developing their curriculum. However, the specific content of teaching programme is decided by schools and local authorities in order to meet children’s and young people’s needs at local level.
 
Animal rights is not named specifically as a topic to be covered, it would certainly be relevant to the social studies curriculum area, for example, in people in society and economy and business. Animal rights may also be explored in religious and moral education, for example, in relation to ethical issues linked to animal rights or views about animal rights across belief groups.
 
CfE also has four central tenets one of which is enabling children and young people to be responsible citizens.  Animal rights and the humane treatment of animals would inevitably be encompassed within this mind set.
 
As with animal rights, learning and teaching about veganism is not a compulsory aspect of the curriculum.  Exploring veganism could be a topic chosen by schools and could potentially be included in aspects of social studies and religious and moral education. For example, food laws across religions might be a topic of study as might be the environmental impact of dietary choices, or broader questions linked to the morality of dietary choices.
 
Veganism might also possibly be considered as part of health and wellbeing. From CfE early level, children are exploring the journey of food and where food comes from. As they progress through the levels, children will explore why some people might avoid certain foods and how food preferences can be influenced by a range of factors, including ethical reasons. As young people progress through the CfE levels, they can then discuss a range of issues and how these can impact on individual health.
 
School-employer partnerships form a central part of the Developing the Young Workforce (DYW) youth employment strategy for Scotland, a seven-year programme with the overarching goal of reducing youth unemployment and enhancing the employability and career prospects for young people by 2021.  
 
The respective guidance developed for schools, employers and local authorities states that it is the ‘ambition of Developing the Young Workforce… that education and employers work closely together to equip all young people with the skills and knowledge they will need to flourish in work, and to support diversity in the workforce…’ (p 1).
 
Many schools across Scotland have established meaningful and productive partnerships with employers, some of which are resulting in collaboration on curriculum design and implementation. A network of 21 industry-led Developing the Young Workforce Regional Groups have been established in support of this process. The groups aim to encourage and support employers to engage directly with schools and colleges and support employers to recruit more young people into their workforce.
 
We are also aware of materials that have been developed by business or sectors in support of learning and teaching and we raise awareness of these as and when appropriate. 
 
About FOI
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Contact

Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit 
Email: ceu@gov.scot
Phone: 0300 244 4000

 
The Scottish Government 
St Andrew's House 
Regent Road 
Edinburgh 
EH1 3DG