An interesting juxtaposition

On page 11 of TESS (26 August), you summarise Albert Einstein as saying that "Coercion robs joy". Then on page 37 (Archive, 24 August, 2001), you say that Jack McConnell "set up a review group to bring religious observance in schools back to life". I find it incredible that forcing pupils to participate in religious observance is still being considered. Any benefits will be negated by the fact that it happens at school and is compulsory.

I attended a conference on religious observance in schools in Edinburgh last year and was told that poor religious observance is confessional and good religious observance makes pupils investigate their own ideas. Surely this is what good religious and moral education does and religious observance will always be making pupils observe a religion - take part.

Explore by all means, but do not coerce and do not steal from good RME what practitioners have fought for years to create.

Vicky McGillivray, PT religious and moral education, Mearns Academy, Aberdeenshire.

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