Education has contributed enormously to the Scottish national character. The emphasis has always been on making a good education available to all and on giving those with talent every opportunity of advancement. At the beginning of the nineteenth century, however, it was clear that the provision of schooling was failing to meet the needs of an expanding population and the growth and diversification of the economy. In 1824 the Church of Scotland began an ambitious program to tackle the problem. In setting up new schools and the first teacher training colleges, the Church saw itself as supplementing an existing system of national education for which it shared a statutory managerial responsibility. This book offers an account of the struggles and achievements of the Church of Scotland over some fifty years as it sought to control and strengthen school education throughout the country. In so doing, it furthered the model of education for which Scotland became famous. Readers interested in current debates about the curriculum and standards in school education, the involvement of parents, the place of religious education, and the desirability or otherwise of faith schools will recognize their beginnings in these pages.