Church of Scotland welcomes interest in religious studies

This year saw a rise in the number of Scottish students taking religious Standard Grades and Highers, according to figures from the Scottish Qualifications Authority.

The figures out this week show that entries for Religious Studies were up from 1,569 in 2012 to 1,602 this year.

For Religious, Moral and Philosophical Studies Higher, there were 4,136 entries in 2013, up from 4,053 in 2012.

Additionally there were 536 candidates at the various levels for the new Award in Religion, Belief and Values.

Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, the Right Reverend Lorna Hood said the figures were "great news" and showed that a grounding in faith in the classroom could in turn inspire interest and learning in the subject.

"Overall, I congratulate everyone who has worked so hard to achieve success in their exams across all subjects. Our thoughts and continued prayers are with those who are disappointed and uncertain of their future career path," she said.

"It is hugely encouraging to know that more young people studied for their Religious Studies Standard Grade and Religious, Moral and Philosophical Studies Highers.

"It is also noteworthy in these often perceived as increasingly secular times, that the new SQA Award in Religion, Belief and Values has had significant up-take in its first year."