More means less in making policy

10th February 2006 at 00:00
Close observers of Scottish Executive policy must no doubt be suffering from initiative fatigue given the subject of last week's news item, "Schools urged to join the fight against sectarian bigots".

It would appear that, the more policies that are launched by the Executive, the emptier the rhetoric. This latest campaign is a prime example. A key strategy is the "twinning" of Catholic and non-denominational schools to enable pupils to celebrate the "benefits of collaboration". This ignores the fact that children in non-denominational education are already schooled in an environment which is open to, and includes, all creeds.

So for just whose benefit is the endeavour being run? You cite one example of where two primaries, one Catholic and the other non-denominational, are involved in weekly activities such as sports and drama. Surely, if a denominational school wants its pupils to profit from interaction with children outwith its church's doctrine, then perhaps it should look at its own admissions policy.

Observers from around the globe must be aghast that Scotland is the only country in the developed world that allows fully funded state schools to discriminate legally against prospective pupils and teachers on the grounds of religion.

Perhaps if the Executive grabbed this nettle, we could have some policies which have real substance as opposed to crass political posturing.

David Nicol Liddesdale Place, Edinburgh

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