PERHAPS Dr Robert Davis, as head of the Department of Religious Education at Glasgow University, could explain to me why there are no denominational universities in the UK. Nor, for that matter, are there any segregated shops, offices or factories (Letters, November 16). So what is the logic of having separate faith or denomination schools when all school-leavers will all have to come together again after 16 and spend the rest of their lives studying, working and living alongside each other? Why separate five-year-olds from their playmates across the street and plant the idea in impressionable minds that they are somehow different?

It can't be that the basic school subjects are taught differently in faith schools. There is no such thing as Muslim maths, Jewish geometry, Catholic chemistry or Protestant physics, and the prescribed syllabus and final exams are the same for all schools. If it is the teaching of a particular set of beliefs, surely that is the responsibility of the parents in the home, or the church to which they belong, rather than the job of a school supported by the state? And if it is the ethos and discipline that are supposed to be better in faith schools, then let's just improve the standards in non-denominational schools.

How can we hope to promote mutual understanding and respect in today's multicultural society if we allow children to be indoctrinated with separatist ideas from an early age? Passing yet more laws in parliament will not achieve tolerance and integration. That will come only by getting to know each other better, and realising that we are all simply human beings, with the same faults and failings.

Finally, may I once again remind some of your correspondents, particularly those in the west of Scotland, that Catholicism and Protestantism are not different faiths but merely separate denominations of the same religion, Christianity? And that the basic tenet of Christ's teaching is: "Love your neighbour."

Iain A D Mann, 7 Kelvin Court, Glasgow.

RESPONDENTS to Ruth Wishart's intelligent article on the problems of faith schools demand proof that the loss of these schools would create more harmony. I would like to give them the example of my own schooldays growing up in Lanarkshire. In 1970s Lanark, the primary schools were segregated, with the Catholic children going to their own faith school. Trouble between the pupils of this and the nearby non-faith school was frequent. However, all children went to the local secondary whether Catholic, Protestant or otherwise.

As a result, sectarian trouble was all but unknown among the student body. To this day I couldn't tell you what religious persuasion my fellow pupils were. Not even the football teams they supported were a guarantee of discerning Catholic from Protestant. You heard of the problems of sectarianism in other parts of Strathclyde, but that was something that happened elsewhere, not "here".

I don't know if the same situation still exists in Lanark. Possibly all Catholic children now go to faith schools outwith the town. I was dismayed to see a f lute band marching through the town on a recent visit. That was something that never happened in my youth. Nevertheless, for many years, non-segregated education created an atmosphere of religious harmony that is sadly lacking in areas where children are separated from each other, and taught that "others" are different and mistaken in their beliefs.

Stuart Allan, 8 Nelson Street, Dundee.

WOULD the Catholic Church be in favour of setting up separate schools for whites, for AfroCaribbeans and for Asians? This would allow their cultural heritage to be taught, maintained and developed. Multiculturalism could be taught in all such schools, but no-one with a brain would expect such a system to succeed like the one where they are all taught in the same school.

Ian Close, 3 Aboyne Drive, Paisley.