Faith schools to become MORE selective ...

(281 Posts)

MNHQ have commented on this thread.

jailhouserock Sun 11-Sep-16 22:14:13

See the original thread in the In the News section for details, but the Gvt is planning to remove the 50% faith admissions cap on new faith academies.

Woodacorn Sun 11-Sep-16 23:50:44

Not as selective as grammar schools angry
I thought most C of E schools operate on a normal criteria list like non C of E schools ie looked after children, siblings in catchment, catchment THEN out of catchment/faith. I would love my children to go to a C of E school as I think they have a kind/caring ethos but we can't as we are not in catchment for any.

prh47bridge Sun 11-Sep-16 23:58:05

They do operate normal criteria although many would have faith higher up the list than you.

Currently any new faith school can only admit 50% of its pupils on faith grounds with the remaining 50% of the places open to anyone. Existing faith schools are not subject to this restriction. The government is proposing removing the restriction on new faith schools. This does NOT mean that they can refuse to admit pupils who are not of the faith (which, in general, means where the parents have not fulfilled the church attendance requirement) but it does mean that they are of lower priority so will only be admitted if there are places left after all faith applicants have been admitted.

user1471734618 Sun 11-Sep-16 23:59:16

Faith schools should be banned anyway.

SuburbanRhonda Mon 12-Sep-16 00:04:32

The local Catholic secondary in my area has 17 criteria for admissions.

Baptised Catholic Looked After Children are number 1, "other" Looked After Children are category 8, after all other categories of baptised Catholic children shock.

user1471734618 Mon 12-Sep-16 00:11:02

I do not know why you are looking shocked, Rhonda, it is a Catholic school after all.
Like I said, they should all be banned. Catholic, C of E, Jewish, Muslim whatever.
what does amuse me slightly is all these crazed parents doing their best to get little Tarquin into the local faith school, including lying and misrepresenting their faith, while slagging private schools for being socially exclusive! Personally I think that a Catholic school is far more socially exclusive than any private school. At least the parents that use private schools are honest.

prh47bridge Mon 12-Sep-16 08:43:00

Baptised Catholic Looked After Children are number 1, "other" Looked After Children are category 8, after all other categories of baptised Catholic children

That is allowed and is fairly common for RC schools. CofE schools tend to put all LACs as priority 1, regardless of faith. As far as I can recall every CofE school I've looked at puts all LACs first but I wouldn't like to say definitively that they all do so.

Personally I think that a Catholic school is far more socially exclusive than any private school

I can see where you are coming from but I don't agree. A private school is only available to those who can afford it. Few offer sufficient support to allow pupils from deprived backgrounds to attend. A RC school, on the other hand, is generally available to anyone who is willing to go to church on a regular basis for a year or two. I am thinking of the bulk of RC schools. I accept that there are a few (London Oratory springs to mind) that have pushed the Admissions Code to and beyond breaking point in an attempt to be more socially exclusive.

Faith schools should be banned anyway

I don't have any strong feelings on this one way or the other, although I lean slightly towards preferring no faith schools. However, I understand why politicians would be unwilling to go down this path even if such a ban would have majority support. The cost would be huge. The state would have to compulsorily purchase the land and premises of most existing faith schools, providing appropriate compensation to the current owners. It would cost billions.

Banning new faith schools would be easier. However, faiths other than CofE and RC could argue that this would unfairly discriminate against them.

jailhouserock Mon 12-Sep-16 09:10:49

Faith schools should be banned anyway

As that is extremely unlikely to happen in the foreseeable future, politicians should focus on reforming the existing and new ones by opening up their admissions, to prevent them from becoming closed communities.

Progress has been made on this, but the new government proposal is trying to reverse that.

namechangedtoday15 Mon 12-Sep-16 09:18:57

My DC C of E school has all looked after children at the first category.

I think things are changing - it's has just gone from a 2 for to a 3 for intake and the additional 30 places are "community" places so no need to meet the usual religious requirements.

namechangedtoday15 Mon 12-Sep-16 09:19:57

I meant form intake!

t4nut Mon 12-Sep-16 09:40:13

That's not 'more' selective.

Any new school opening has to be a free school, free schools can set a faith criteria with a cap of 50%. This is being removed. Existing faith schools had no cap.

Because the cap was there the catholic and CofE systems were not opening any new schools.

In removing the cap the reality will be more schools and more choice - cofe and catholic schools are usually very diverse and only in rare cases fill up on faith grounds.

namechangedtoday15 Mon 12-Sep-16 09:46:06

No, I didn't mean it was more selective, just the opposite!

jailhouserock Mon 12-Sep-16 10:19:05

t4nut: "Because the cap was there the catholic and CofE systems were not opening any new schools"

Incorrect. Many CE schools have successfully opened under these rules, some with 100% open admissions. It is only the Catholic education service that is refusing to open schools. That is their choice, but they are using it as a lobbying tactic. Up to now the DfE has refused to give in.

However, the new Government are planning to roll over and do what the Catholic Education Service want.

In removing the cap the reality will be more schools and more choice

Rubbish. There aren't enough surplus places in the system for everyone to have a "choice" because budgets are squeezed more than ever before. It will increase choice for a small minority and reduce the choice for everyone else.

If a new school opens in your town and you can't go to it, that is not increased choice!

catholic schools are usually very diverse

Many are racially diverse, because Catholicisim is an international religion. It is religious diversity that they are lacking. That is important too.

... and only in rare cases fill up on faith grounds

It's not rare in London, or many other places where population growth has led to pressure on school places.

t4nut Mon 12-Sep-16 10:38:32

So your problem is schools that don't exist, might now exist and someone not of the faith might not get in.

I don't see that as a reason to object.

If this opens more good schools where they are needed how is that a problem?

jailhouserock Mon 12-Sep-16 11:18:31

So your problem is schools that don't exist, might now exist and someone not of the faith might not get in. I don't see that as a reason to object.If this opens more good schools where they are needed how is that a problem

The problem is that there is a finite amount of money to open new schools, so any that do open should be as accessible as possible to the whole local community, not just the small minority of people who can meet the admission criteria or modify their lives to meet the admissions criteria.

Families should select schools, not the other way round.

For example:

- A baptised Catholic living next door to a Catholic School should not miss out on a place because a "practising" baptised Catholic 3km away takes priority.

- The unbaptised child of an unmarried Catholic mother living next door to a Catholic School should not miss out on a place because a baptised Catholic 3km away takes priority.

- The child of lapsed-Catholic-now-agnostic parents who nevertheless want their child to make their own decisions about their faith in the future should not miss out on a place because a baptised/practicing Catholic 3km away takes priority.

- The child of Muslim parents who want their child to go to Secondary school with their Catholic friends from primary school should not miss out on a place because all the Catholics between the school and Siberia take priority.

Etc, etc, etc. People choose schools for many reasons. If a non-Catholic family wants their child to go to a Catholic school, and is prepared to respect the school ethos, then they should be able to "choose" it and be prioritised over a Catholic family living further away. Fundamentally, their reasons for choosing the school are just as valid as anybody else's whether the Catholic education service likes it or not.

RebelRogue Mon 12-Sep-16 11:29:06

, and is prepared to respect the school ethos,

How many are though? I know plenty of people and there are loads of threads on other forums from really pissed off parents that the faith school they chose,shock horror practices it's faith. Complaints,keeping children off,exemptions you name it.

There's only one catholic school in our village,but 2 non faith schools within walking distance and a couple more a bit further away. The truth is,not even all the catholic kids get in. Every year there are about 100 kids applying for 30 places.

prh47bridge Mon 12-Sep-16 11:30:59

The problem is that there is a finite amount of money to open new schools

Most funding for new schools does not come from the government. Free schools get some assistance by way of grants but have to find a lot of the startup costs themselves.

If a non-Catholic family wants their child to go to a Catholic school, and is prepared to respect the school ethos, then they should be able to "choose" it and be prioritised over a Catholic family living further away

So the body that owns the land and premises, has historically put up most of the capital costs and continues to contribute towards capital costs (and, in at least some cases, towards running costs as well) should not be able to set admission priorities that disagree with your view as to what they should be setting.

A child may miss out on going to secondary school with their friends because there are a lot of LAC or SEN this year. They may miss out because there are a lot of siblings this year. They may miss out because there are a lot of pupils with medical or social needs. Or because there are a lot of children of staff. Or because their friends are all eligible for pupil premium and they are not.

As long as we have faith schools the bodies who have funded them over the long term will have a say in admission criteria. If they were not allowed to prioritise on faith grounds most, possibly all, RC schools would close and some CofE schools may do so as well. So we are back to a policy that would cost billions to implement.

AndNowItsSeven Mon 12-Sep-16 11:35:17

Children going to school with their friends should never be a consideration for high school.

freetrampolineforall Mon 12-Sep-16 11:37:42

As said on parallel thread, Catholic primary was not our 1st choice- we are Catholics but wanted non faith school for dd even though she is also a baptised Catholic. Couldn't get in. Are now "stuck" with Catholic schools as secondary option although will try others that we aren't in a feeder school for.
I don't think faith schools are a good idea either in this day and age.
We are not in a prosperous area.
By the way, the notion expressed up thread that a Catholic School would discriminate against a child because their mum isn't married is Total Bollocks.

jailhouserock Mon 12-Sep-16 11:38:57

How many are though?

Most schools have a Code of Conduct or some other kind of Ethos Statement that parents and pupils sign up to. If you don't like it you send your kids elsewhere, or spend your entire school journey being unhappy.

That's not a good reason to prioritise "practising" Catholics over "non-practising" Catholics, or those who have been baptised within 1 year over those that haven't, or those that have been baptised Catholic over those who aren't Catholic at all but who are still respectful of Catholicism.

RebelRogue Mon 12-Sep-16 11:41:30

As for social segregation...we are all a complete mix of people,not only from different countries/continents/races,but married,single,divorced,employed,unemployed,self employed,poor,rich,in between, council housing,renting,owning,and even the frequency or how devout we are differs. We might all be catholic,but we are definitely a diverse bunch of people.

jailhouserock Mon 12-Sep-16 11:44:22

By the way, the notion expressed up thread that a Catholic School would discriminate against a child because their mum isn't married is Total Bollocks

I didn't say that - you misinterpreted it.

They will discriminate against a child who is not baptised or regularly practising, and for a whole host of social reasons a family in distressed circumstances is less likely to be prioritising adherence to those protocols, even if they consider themselves to be people of faith.

RebelRogue Mon 12-Sep-16 11:48:43

Jailhouse do you honestly believe that people of other faiths or no faith would allow their kids partake in prayers,religious assemblies, mass etc? Or that they would keep their unhappiness to themselves ? I can see why religious schools would not want the hassle,or the need to hire extra staff to watch the kids that are not allowed to join in.

AndNowItsSeven Mon 12-Sep-16 12:04:13

My dd went to a Catholic primary- we are not Catholic. She attended everything she just didn't take communion or speak during any prayers, cross herself etc.
Sometimes she read a book during church, other times she listened. It wasn't an issue.

t4nut Mon 12-Sep-16 12:05:55

Jailhouse you can build strawman arguments for how any schools admission criteria is unfair.

All admission criteria are published and in line with the code. Personally don't see any issue with practising prioritised over 'went to church a bit 20 years ago'.

You're talking about additional schools - more choice than there is now. Not as if an existing school is changing from non faith criteria to faith criteria.

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