Healing divisions

David Robertson claims that I have misrepresented his views and that he is not in favour of ­religiously segregated schools (Letters, 10 July). I am very pleased to hear it. Religious segregation in our school system is socially divisive, unnecessary and wasteful of resources.

But he seems not to have understood the implications of what he has asserted – that parents have a right to have their children educated in their religion and the state has a duty to provide appropriate schools. Logically, that would require schools for Muslims, Jews, Roman Catholics, Presbyterians, Anglicans, Humanists and so on.

The Conservatives have been supporting the kind of parental choice that Mr Robertson is trying to promote, but they have had a rude awakening – some Islamic schools have been found to be radicalising Muslim pupils.

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Social harmony and cohesion are best served through inclusive schools, not through religiously segregated schools. Children should learn about all the faiths and beliefs in their society.

Surveys suggest that a quarter of the population of Scotland hold a Humanist, atheist or agnostic outlook. It is therefore an important task for schools today to help children understand that outlook and to explain that non-religious people can be good neighbours too.

Les Reid

Morton Street


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