to believe Faith schools should be privately funded ?

(777 Posts)
Peetle Wed 08-Sep-10 10:23:35

I should explain my interest. The nearest primary school to my house is about 250 yards away and involves crossing two not very busy roads. It is a faith school. The next nearest is about 300 yards away, across a major road and in the middle of a council estate. It's ofsted report full of phrases like "higher than average English as a second language", "higher than average free school meals", etc, etc. Other local schools are over a mile away and we're likely to be out of their catchment area.

To get into the faith school families have to attend our local place of worship regularly for two years, know the officials and prove regular financial donations to the establishment. Of course, once these families have got their first child into the school they stop attending and donating. I also know of families of different and even contradictory faiths attending purely to get their children into the school. And I frequently see people picking up their children in cars, suggesting they live considerably further from it than we do.

We have no hope of getting into this school, not being hypocrites and not wishing to give our children the idea that it's alright to be dishonest about something if you want it badly enough.

My point is that I don't mind people wanting to give their children an education in their chosen faith, but I object to my taxes funding a school I can't use and which encourages parents to profess a religious belief they don't hold purely for the purposes of entry.

sanielle Wed 08-Sep-10 10:24:42

YA really NBU

conkie Wed 08-Sep-10 10:24:59

YANBU

TheCoalitionNeedsYou Wed 08-Sep-10 10:25:20

YANBU.

sanielle Wed 08-Sep-10 10:25:50

Oh and for all people like to go on about religious nutters in america.. There is a huge big black line between church and state in the school system

wonka Wed 08-Sep-10 10:27:20

I though all faith school ALL nw had to allow for a percentage of non faith pupils..

wonka Wed 08-Sep-10 10:29:10

Wow that came out wonky..
I thought all faith scools now had to allow for a percentage of non faith pupils (ours Does)

PosieParker Wed 08-Sep-10 10:29:45

My dcs go to a faith school, nowhere near and we're not Catholic! The Catholic schools do seem to be amazing round here, much better than others.... I think it's the school/church calendar and prayer (regrouping and meditation as opposed to God) that helps.

I worry more about faith schools without state control, insular, narrow and blinkered curriculum's that reinforce whatever rubbish is force fed at home.

I think everyone should be able to go to their local school and no school should have more money than any other.....utopia!

DBennett Wed 08-Sep-10 10:36:08

I'd break it down into two separate issues.

State funded segregation: I don't approve of that.

Deceit to get preferential treatment: I don't approve of that.

YANBU.

minipie Wed 08-Sep-10 10:46:11

YA definitely NBU

The law prohibits discrimination on grounds of religion in all other circumstances.

I cannot see how this can possibly be reconciled with state funded schools prioritising pupils of a certain religion. Surely that is completely and obviously discriminating on the grounds of religion?

wonka I don't think that is the case in all areas. Certainly the two faith state schools near me have taken only faith pupils for a number of years. (They only take non faith pupils if they have spare spaces after all the faith pupils have applied, and since it's massively oversubscribed there are never any spaces left over).

BaggedandTagged Wed 08-Sep-10 10:51:43

Don't really care that much but one issue is that although church schools receive state funding, they often own the school buildings/ land outright, so if they all closed that would be a PITA for everyone as it would take school places out of an already stretched system.

(i.e. it's not as simple as forcing them to either find alternative funding or accept pupils of any faith- they could just close the school and sell off the land).

Also, people only complain about faith schools when they are the best ones in the area (which they frequently, but not always, are). Nobody cares about them when they're rubbish- then they provide a useful foil to channel some demand away from the best school.

shinyrobot Wed 08-Sep-10 10:56:18

YANBU!!!

DandyDan Wed 08-Sep-10 10:59:54

I think people should go to their local school if at all possible.

I don't know what form of faith school you are talking about but I would guess at C of E, though correct me if wrong. C of E churches originally paid for these schools and own the buildings/land, and set them up. That is part of those school's ethos and so many non-church-going people want to get their children into them that it seems people do value something about them for being "faith-orientated" in their ethos. According to a survey - accesible via here http://www.cofe.anglican.org/info/education/faqcof eschools/ the majority, over two-thirds, are okay or actually positive about the role of faith schools in a "pluralist liberal social democracy" (to borrow a few words from that site).

Legally faith schools have to take a proportion of non-faith pupils (in situations where there are waiting lists etc).

Deceit to get into a particular school, whether it's attending church or temporarily moving house, is not on.

PosieParker Wed 08-Sep-10 11:00:44

I guess we should examine why they are better?

dilemma456 Wed 08-Sep-10 11:01:08

Message withdrawn

Flighttattendant Wed 08-Sep-10 11:04:42

Yanbu

it's totally wrong

I also dislike faith having to be a part of the curriculum, as in, daily act of worship etc.

Ds has a phobia about blood and the crucifiction and so on, surely teaching young kids about torture is just out of order.

lazylula Wed 08-Sep-10 11:11:37

My ds1 will be attending a Catholic school as of next week, we are not Catholic. He has been Christened which probably helped but we have been up front and honest about everything. We live about a 15 min walk away so not right next door. It is about the schools admissions policy. I workedin a C of E primary school and while top of the admissions policy was living in catchment and attending church, the next was living in catchment, THEN living out of catchment but regular church attender, which I think is a fair way.

YADNBU

More fool the parents who practice deceit to get their children into them. Don't they realise how much religious indoctrination education will go on?

If it's RC, they'll be expected to go to confession, take Holy Communion, for example and there will be a lot of time given over to preparing for these events.

How will the parents react when their children really want to go to church, will they take them?

PosieParker Wed 08-Sep-10 11:15:50

VoD....I would have said the same, but my two dss have the same education and DS1 has no faith, DS2 thinks Jesus is alive in all of us!! DS1 is the age to begin talking about holy communion but he has no interest and we would actively discourage it!

Peetle Wed 08-Sep-10 11:20:45

Thanks for the support folks. I deliberately didn't mention the faith in question and the school isn't Catholic.

Part of me wants to try and get in on the "other faiths" ticket, given there are only two other schools we'd consider locally, and part of me wants to avoid the place altogether.

My other problem is that my children are twins so we need two places in the same school; no sibling ticket for us. But that's a whole different ball game.

And I agree with lazylula about priorities. Being local to the school is about category 8 on the school in question's priorities.

DandyDan Wed 08-Sep-10 11:20:47

Although there may be mention of these things, an RC primary school does not expect its pupils to subscribe to confession or First Communion.

Surely if children wanted to go to church because they were interested and desired to go, the parents would take them, just as they would take children to a football practice (even though they might not like football themselves). I am not equating religious practice/faith with a hobby though - the two are very different.

grottielottie Wed 08-Sep-10 11:23:54

YANBU --brain washing-- religious education should be done by parents not the state.

Treats Wed 08-Sep-10 11:36:54

Not facing this issue yet (DD not quite 1) and we plan to move before she starts school, so I don't know what our situation will be.

I was watching the programme last night about allocation of secondary school places in Birmingham, and found it a bit of an eye-opener. One thing that has always struck me about faith schools, though, is that they don't discriminate on the basis of the child's ability (as selective schools do) or on the basis of the parents wealth (as schools with a catchment area indirectly do - parents who can afford to, will move to the catchment area of the school they want their DC to go to). All a faith school asks is that the parents want to be part of their community and the very essence of a faith is that it will accept anyone, regardless of background, wealth, etc. To me, that actually seems much fairer.

Disclosure - my dad was the head of an RC secondary school and my grandad was a well-known (in his day) advocate of RC education. My dad finds it a bit surreal that RC schools are getting bashed for being elitist these days - for decades their intake has traditionally been very disadvantaged - and even today, RC schools in London are full of the children of East European, African, South American and Filipino immigrants, mostly from from disadvantaged communities.

I don't understand why there aren't more options for people who aren't religious though. I don't oppose funding faith schools (you wouldn't expect me to, of course) because these pupils would still have to be paid for somehow, but faith schools should really be a marginal part of our school system. The fact that so many people find their options squeezed suggest that faith schools are much more prevalent than they should be, considering how much of the population are regular worshippers.

I don't think the problem is faith schools per se, more that LEAs are relying on them to provide school places that they should be providing through other means.

Rockbird Wed 08-Sep-10 11:41:15

YABU

DD isn't at the school of our choice yet as she is only 2, but her cousins are. We all go to mass regularly as do the rest of the families. It's a fantastic community and the nuns who are the church/school liaison know everybody, you wouldn't get away with abandoning it once your child was in. Families who use faith schools also pay taxes and extra through the church and are entitled to the education of their choice.

As a previous poster said, funny how the people whinging are always the ones who are complaining that they can't get into the school...

seeker Wed 08-Sep-10 11:42:36

You are soooooooooo not being unreasonable - but you iwll get battered on here shortly! Or,at least I always have done whenever I talk about Faith schools, or the fact that ALL scchools in this country have a statutory obligation to have "broadly Christian" assemblies, and that it seems to be impossible to ahve a state education without being expected to pray on a regular basis.

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