Scottish Conservative leadership hopeful Ruth Davidson said she would like to see faith schools run by the Church of Scotland.
In an interview on BBC Radio Scotland the MSP said she believes that parents should have the freedom to choose how and where their child is taught.
Miss Davidson is hoping to succeed current Tory leader Annabel Goldie, who will step down later in the autumn. She is competing against Murdo Fraser and Jackson Carlaw.
Miss Davidson, a former BBC radio presenter, said parents should have more choice in education, with faith schools standing alongside Gaelic language schools as part of that choice.
The 32-year-old told BBC Radio Scotland’s Call Kaye programme: “I’ve never personally understood why councils are the de facto supplier of education and there’s no choice.
“I mean, I would like to see the Church of Scotland, if it wants to set up faith-based schools, to be able to do so.
“I welcome the Roman Catholic denominational schools in my area, and I see a large number of people who maybe aren’t from the Roman Catholic community who see something of value and go to them as well.”
The openly gay MSP said schools should use “a moral compass” when teaching children, but said she did not want to talk about the view some faith schools may take on her sexuality.
She told programme presenter Kaye Adams: “I am a member of the Church of Scotland, I attend services, I believe in God, I appreciate my own faith, I tend not talk about it [her sexuality] but you’re asking me quite personal questions, but I think the grounding that I’ve had through my own church has helped me shape my views on the world – my views on tolerance, on love, on appreciating other people, on service or on duty – and I don’t think any of these things are bad things.”
• Full story at BBC Scotland.