Letters: Using old law to segregate schoolchildren is a scandal

OUR divisive system of education was all too evident in a picture in the News (April 20).

Showing school children having to protest against the proposal by education chiefs to swap their school, Broomhouse Primary, with that of St Joseph's in a weak-kneed attempt at appeasing the segregationists, this picture is testament to the archaic 1918 Education Act.

This outmoded law which authorises the categorisation of school children at an impressionable age in separate schools should be repealed.

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One banner had the message "Let us work, learn and play together". Sadly because the Catholic Church is a powerful political lobby, our weak mainstream politicians will ignore this because they are frightened to challenge the Church's backward thinking. Because this absurd law is still on the statute books, a council spokesman could only say: "This is a sensitive issue." It's much more than that. It is a scandal.

Jack Fraser, Clayknowes Drive, Musselburgh

Pupils should be allowed to mingle

WITH reference to your reports about Broomhouse Primary School possibly sharing some building facilities with St Joseph's, what sort of society are we living in when children of different religious faiths cannot share the same buildings because of the religious beliefs of some of the teachers, parents and church officials associated with the latter school?

Surely it is time to encourage our children to mingle and do away with state-funded religious segregation in schools.

I hope our city councillors in making their decisions on this matter will do all they can to encourage contact by children across faith divides and use what influence they have to attempt to do away with religious segregation in our schools.

Norman Bonney, Palmerston Place, Edinburgh

Vote has gone up for Nationalists

GINA Davidson (Pressing the flesh as they approach the final hurdle, News, 21 April) falls into the trap of ignoring the SNP vote in Edinburgh South which has increased significantly since the last General Election.

In 2007 the SNP came second in the Edinburgh South Regional List vote and last year came within 121 votes of beating Labour in the European elections which were contested on the Westminster boundaries.

In fact the SNP polled the most votes in Edinburgh last year and "won" Edinburgh East, North and Leith and Edinburgh South West constituencies.

Janice Thompson, Walter Scott Avenue, Edinburgh

Get-out clause spares airlines

DO THE airlines really have to compensate customers because of volcanic eruption?

The answer appears to be no.

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Much as I hate Ryanair I have to agree with them as within Article 5 of the "regulation (EC) No 261/2004 of the European Parliament and of the council of 11 February 2004" they do appear to have a 'get-out' for this situation.

Article 5: Cancellation

"An operating air carrier shall not be obliged to pay compensation in accordance with Article 7, if it can prove that the cancellation is caused by extraordinary circumstances which could not have been avoided even if all reasonable measures had been taken."

Brian K Mackenzie, Craigleith Hill Green, Edinburgh

Doing best to keep city traffic moving

YOUR article "More tram misery is on way for Princes St" (News, 21 April), states that The Mound will close completely during work to install valves on water utilities.

This is incorrect, as the communication issued to your reporter clearly stated. Work will be carried out on one carriageway at a time to ensure the traffic flow is maintained northbound. A diversion via Waverley Bridge will be put in place to accommodate southbound traffic.

Mandy Haeburn-Little, director of customer services and communications, Edinburgh Trams