If your child attended a non faith primary would you want them/would they want to go to a secondary school that was Catholic?

(15 Posts)
TwilightMad Sat 11-Jul-15 17:11:03

I only ask as my Dd currently attends a catholic primary and will hopefully get a place at the feeder secondary that is an amazing school, and the only outstanding rated secondary in the borough.

So, we got a letter from dd's primary the other day telling us that the secondary school is changing their admissions criteria from 2017/18 onwards (the year that dd is due to start secondary and by which time her older bother would have left ). My daughter would have been top of the list along with her classmates as she's Catholic, she goes to Catholic school and we live within one of the parishes. Basically to be in the top three criteria you have to be Catholic AND have attended catholic school, however the school have decided to change this.

From 2017 the criteria will no longer stipulate that a child has to have gone to Catholic school, and that as long as they are baptised Catholic then they should still be high up the list, and they have now put siblings above children who live within the parishes. Now this in itself didn't bother me but the more I think about it I'm not so sure my dd will now get a place.

Thinking about it rationally though I'm wondering whether the majority of kids who have been to a non faith school would be happy to start at a Catholic secondary? I mean my kids don't know any different but I know my nephews who aren't of any faith would never let their parents opt for a faith school. I suppose I'm worrying now as currently if you've not been to catholic primary then you aren't high up the list so technically my dd was more or less guaranteed a place where as now she might not be due to other children from non faith primary, who live closer taking up places. So I suppose what I'm asking is should I be worried? It's just my daughter (and me) has set her heart on this school as she'll move up with 90% of her class mates, the only issue is they all live right in parish and we live just at the end.

Iwantacampervan Sat 11-Jul-15 17:20:38

Families (RC church going) in our area send children to a Catholic secondary having attended non catholic primaries. This is because the nearest Catholic primary school is in the next town and the families wanted the village primary (local community and walk to school).

TwilightMad Sat 11-Jul-15 17:25:47

Ah right, well were we live there are two Catholic secondary schools, the outstanding one I'd like my dd to go and another one that is rated good but isn't as good with results. Both of these schools are a 10/15 minute drive away(from where we live) yet there are five community secondary's all rated good that are 2-5 minutes walk away so I guess I'm hoping a lot of the kids from non faith primary decide to go there otherwise my dd may not stand a chance.

MrsHathaway Sat 11-Jul-15 17:41:25

Here all the primary schools are pretty good so people tend to go with the nearest they can get into. There are RC primaries but you have to spend time and money travelling to them.

The secondary schools are not all good. Competition for the one RC secondary school is fierce.

In my experience, parents are far more likely to look for a RC school for secondary than primary, because round here it makes much more difference for primary than secondary.

You may also find that the RC primaries lose popularity if they no longer give a leg-up into the RC secondary.

Millymollymama Sat 11-Jul-15 17:43:40

We have a Catholic secondary school about 8 miles away in a large town and they stipulate that the child must be Catholic but state towns and villages in a very wide geographic area within the county from where they will consider applicants, plus the Catholic pupils of two Catholic schools in a town in an adjacent county. The towns and villages quoted in the geographic area all have Catholic primary schools though so maybe there is an unwritten expectation!

The question is whether there are lots of Catholic children outside the Parishes who are not in a Catholic Primary. It is these children who may want this school. However, siblings will be a priority but the sibling in the school will have been admitted on the old criteria, not the new one so that is probably quite a fair selection criteria. Could it be that there are not enough Catholic children in Catholic primary schools so the school is clarifying that it will seek applications from Catholic children in other other schools? Has it actually taken these children anyway in the past? Does it have other Christian children? My local school has a quota for these. Your position may not actually be worse. The school's new position does give hope to Catholic parents who, for whatever reason, could not get their child into a Catholic primary. In year applicants for over subscribed schools would be helped by this change.

Personally I would not send my children to a Catholic school even if it was outstanding. I would probably think differently if the alternative school was truly awful! However, some people prefer the quality of education above everything else so they would be interested in a Catholic secondary but the religious aspect would not be for me.

Millymollymama Sat 11-Jul-15 17:48:18

As I now see there are several "good" alternatives a very short distance away, I think parents may not be so bothered about the Catholic secondary school and would prefer to stay local. How many children were refused the Catholic secondary last year? If they admitted lots of non Catholic children then you would still have a good chance because you get preference over them.

Sobek Sat 11-Jul-15 19:52:28

We've got good local schools, but a lot of the catholics attending non-catholic primary schools choose to go to the outstanding catholic school 15 miles away. We've got a large Polish and Filipino population here, so the catholic schools are always heavily oversubscribed. I don't know what it is like where you live, but I can understand why you are worried.

museumum Sat 11-Jul-15 19:58:36

In my city catholic secondaries are very socially mixed as they gave a huge catchment area. This means it's good for children from socially deprived areas as they mix with children of parents with good experiences of education and higher education and can really raise aspiration.
However, for children from "naice" areas (like me) the mix can be a revelation - children with parents and siblings in prison and children experiencing real deprivation and without educational aspiration. My school also prided itself on accepting children expelled elsewhere.
So.... It was a real education. And my parents chose it for the forgiving and charitable catholic ethos. But it's not the school that MC pushy parents would be pretending to be vathic to get their kids into smile

fustybritches Sat 11-Jul-15 20:02:02

No I wouldn't consider a RC school for my dc. Hth.

Wandastartup Sat 11-Jul-15 22:22:59

My DCs are at our village non RC school as the nearest Catholic primary is 9 miles away. They attend mass and have made first communion in the parish. They will (hopefully) go to a Catholic secondary as they will be older, better able to cope with a long journey(& all the secondaries are a similar distance away)

Barbeasty Sun 12-Jul-15 07:57:33

Is this letter informing or consulting?

Is the school currently oversubscribed, and where does it tend to get to in the oversubscription criteria?

If what they are doing is eg switching around the top 3 criteria and actually they normally get to number 7, it shouldn't have any effect. If this prioritises a group of children who wouldn't normally get in above where your child would sit there's more reason to be worried.

What does your primary school think?
Are there going to be decidedly average catholic primaries who now struggle to get pupils because it no longer gives an advantage, or is it a case that every catholic primary school in the area is oversubscribed and actually lots of practicing catholics are missing out twice- fail to get into the primary because they live a few houses too far away, then this penalises them again aged 11?

If you're worried then ask the school for their reasoning. They must have some logic behind this, find out what it is.

mariejo Sun 12-Jul-15 09:46:34

From doing admission appeals, there are many Catholic families who move into an area and can't get their child into a Catholic Primary as they are full so they go, reluctantly, to a non faith school. They are keen to go to a Catholic High school.

I suspect the proposed changes may be to do with following the legal requirements. It is legal to name specific Primary schools (Feeder primarries) but not legal to have just Catholic Primary schools.

Lurkedforever1 Sun 12-Jul-15 12:58:10

As a none believer I would send mine to which ever school I believed suited them best. If that was one that was Catholic, pagan or anything else it wouldn't put me off.

Essexmum69 Sun 12-Jul-15 15:14:51

I will be applying for a catholic secondary school as one of my choices for my DS next year. He is currently at an non-faith primary, so yes people do.

Alfieisnoisy Sun 12-Jul-15 15:32:41

My DS is currently in our local Catholic second day school. He us Catholic but eve if we were not 8d have still chosen it for it's small size.
It's also very diverse taking children of all faiths and none. Nor too heavy on the religion.

In fact DS has struggled massively there and I am pulling him out at the end of term. Not because of the school but the system.

I would imagine most people will not choose a Catholic school unless there's something about it which would suit their child. Obviously if it's outstanding then it's likely to be oversubscribed.

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