Trying to get non-catholic DS into catholic school..

(106 Posts)
VeryProbablyStupid Sun 18-Nov-12 08:21:50

I don't know if this is the place to post this..

DS is 27 months. I have started looking at the local schools etc. There are only three viable options. One school is in a kind of rough part of the area, although it does have good reports etc. Another is a welsh speaking primary, which Im not that keen on although I wouldnt count it out totally. The third is my favourite, its very small, only about 160 pupils in total, seems wonderful. Its a Catholic school, and they have told me seeing as DS is not in the actual catchment area and that he is not catholic, I would need to attend an interview to say why I would value a Catholic education..

There are a few muslim kids in the school, and I know they are not all Catholics, so Im confident there would be a place for him, but Im worried about what to say! I like the idea of there being a strong set of morals, and while Im not religious, I went to a regular school with Lords Prayer and hymns etc and I dont think its a bad thing for kids to be aware of this etc. Anyone been in a similar situation who can give me any tips?

Gumby Sun 18-Nov-12 08:25:22

He's only 2, you've got ages yet

VeryProbablyStupid Sun 18-Nov-12 08:27:07

Lol, Im not sure when I have to decide by! Dont want to miss my chance!

happymumof2kids Sun 18-Nov-12 11:02:40

I think you should just concentrate on telling the school how you think a religious education would benefit your child and how it would shape his future and character. You can say it would give your DS choices in life rather than just following you or your partner (if you have one) in terms of religion or non religion. Also look at the school admission criteria. Think you still have to go thru the local council normal admission and just do additional stuff for faith schools e.g. extra forms to fill, interviews etc..If I was you I would also go for the catholic school.

meditrina Sun 18-Nov-12 11:09:40

I thought that interviews of any kind were explicitly forbidden in the Admissions Code. Is this in the published entry criteria?

strumpetpumpkin Sun 18-Nov-12 11:14:19

convert to catholicism?

If you want to indoctrinate your kids into something, may as well do it yourself too

is the welsh speaking one all welsh? surely not.

OwedToAutumn Sun 18-Nov-12 11:16:33

I know a Hindu whose DC went to a CofE school.

It was their commitment to faith education that swung it for them. Which could be why a Muslim child would get into the school over a child of no particular faith

NotQuintAtAllOhNo Sun 18-Nov-12 11:18:45

Is the school oversubscribed? You can find out by asking your LEA.

Do you know the admissions criteria?

There is absolutely no point trying to get in if there are many more Catholic applicants to the school than children who are actually offered a place.

You can do an advanced search here for topic "Catholic Primary School", and read a couple of old threads. It might give you an idea of what life would be like with a child in a Catholic school. A lot of involvement is expected from Parents, normally.

NewFerry Sun 18-Nov-12 11:19:27

I don't think any state schools are allowed to interview parents
Where they possibly referring to the appeals process?

^^what strumpet said.

NewFerry Sun 18-Nov-12 11:22:14

Sorry were not where

prh47bridge Sun 18-Nov-12 16:51:01

From the fact the OP talks about a Welsh speaking school I presume she is in Wales. The rules there are different from England.

Ragwort Sun 18-Nov-12 16:54:53

I agree with Owed comments, it is probably your commitment to a faith that is important; my DS went to a catholic school, we are not catholic but we do have a strong faith - we met the Head, discussed it, and were offered a place.

VeryProbablyStupid Sun 18-Nov-12 16:57:50

I emailed them to ask about admissions and they said obviously priority would be given to Catholics, then nun Catholics in their catchment area. Then everyone else, and if they had too many they would be interviewing parents.

We are in wales. I didn't think about children of any faith being given places over nun faith kids but that's a good point.

I'm not sure is whoever said I should convert to catholicism was being sarcastic, I don't think it matters past my son going to the school I think he will be happiest in?

BeehavingBaby Sun 18-Nov-12 16:58:21

It would probably be easier to go to church and get DC baptised. We are Catholic and there is a lot of school-church involvement and community activity. Would be odd not to get involved really.

titchy Sun 18-Nov-12 17:04:38

If priority goes to Catholics , then anyone in catchment and you are in neither category there may well not be any spaces left, so no, I doubt the poster who suggested converting was being sarcastic - many parents do exactly that, or move.

Do you know much about catholicism or what a catholic education will involve OP?

admission Sun 18-Nov-12 17:55:09

Even in Wales the school is not allowed to interview, though that has never stopped some schools from doing their own thing in the past !
OP if you can PM me the names of the schools and the Local Authority I will look at the admission criteria for the schools and tell you exactly what the situation is around admissions to the schools.
All schools in Wales do teach some welsh but it is a question over whether the schools are welsh media, bilingual or english media schools or not, do you know?
From your original post I would expect that your child would be starting school in september 2014 and you would apply for a school place between september 2013 and January 2014.

chloe74 Sun 18-Nov-12 20:51:34

I would suggest you start going to the local church and convert (it doesn't really matter whether you believe or not), its the only way to prove your sincerity. But you will also be able to talk to the other parents in the church and they will know the inside scoop on how to pass the interview, what to say, who to be nice to etc. Once you get into the school the sibling rule will apply and you can have your Sunday's back to do more enjoyable stuff.

dinosaurinmybelly Mon 19-Nov-12 00:20:27

Completely disagree that you should go and convert for the sake of it. I'm not sure if you mentioned this or not but what is your personal stance on faith - atheist or a subscriber to a different religion? Speaking as a Catholic, I think the school would be flattered that you are happy to have a Catholic education for your child and that you support the ethos of the school. You can do that and not be Catholic. They are possibly trying to avoid a situation where they offer a place and then when your child starts at the school you come to them to say you don't like the various aspects of the Catholic ethos within the school e.g prayers. If that is the case, then this obviously isn't the school for your child, and they are simply making sure that doesn't happen..

prh47bridge Mon 19-Nov-12 00:39:24

If the school has typical admission criteria for a Catholic school the OP's child will stand less chance of getting a place if she does not convert. The school may be flattered that the OP wants her child to have a Catholic education and that she supports the ethos of the school but that will not help her get a place.

chloe74 Mon 19-Nov-12 00:48:21

I do not mean this as a comment on faith (I admit I am not a believer) but tax payer funded schools should be open to all and I do not agree with discrimination being inflicting on a child because a priest says their parents doesn't believe in the right deity.

Therefore every child should have access to that school and if parents have to pretend to believe in one superstition rather than another to get DC into a good school, then so be it. So OP - my advice is to do everything possible to get your DC into a good school, if that means deception to overcome discrimination then do it, one day we will all be equal.

CecilyP Mon 19-Nov-12 11:23:25

Of course OP isn't going to convert to Catholicism to get her DC into a Catholic school - that would be going along with what you disapprove of, rather than making a stand against it. If people follow through what you are saying, chloe, far from widening access to faith schools, it will restrict it even further.

It is really Hobson's choice for OP; I don't think she particularly wants a Catholic school, just that this is the least worst option. The best she can do is follow dinosaur's advice or the other possibility would be moving into catchment.

prh47bridge Mon 19-Nov-12 11:30:01

I repeat, dinosaur's advice won't get her anywhere. Telling the school that you want a Catholic education and support the ethos of the school will not get a child any priority for admission.

CecilyP Mon 19-Nov-12 11:41:14

I agree, prh, but if the school takes a small number of children who are neither Catholic nor live in the catchment, the OP needs to find out what it is that gets them a place

singinggirl Mon 19-Nov-12 12:53:52

Our local, very highly regarded Anglican Comprehensive keeps six or seven places a year for children who are practising members of other faiths, so there are Muslims, Sikhs and Jews there. It may be these children that the school also takes - or they may just live in catchment.

chloe74 Mon 19-Nov-12 19:53:37

I don't think there is anything wrong with 'converting' just to get into a school. After all if you don't believe then you aren't really converting. You have paid your taxes which fund the school and to be denied an equal chance of entry because you are the wrong religion is discrimination and morally wrong.

Can you imagine the outcry if an employer interviewing for a job said your not getting it because your muslim/jewish/cathloic etc.

Sometimes when you are fighting discrimination you have to do things you don't like but do them because its the right thing to do.

HouseOfBamboo Mon 19-Nov-12 20:23:46

"Can you imagine the outcry if an employer interviewing for a job said your not getting it because your muslim/jewish/cathloic etc."

Well. Exactly. Why are more people not absolutely outraged that PUBLICLY FUNDED schools get away with it?

titchy Mon 19-Nov-12 20:40:03

The church does fund schools - 10% plus all capital costs I believe. I do think we should be a secular country though.

Portofino Mon 19-Nov-12 20:45:45

So, if you don't live in catchment, and are not catholics, then you find a different school, and leave that school for those that ARE either catholics or in catchment. Why should someone else.s child lose a place on those grounds because you have decided you LIKE that one.

BuddyTheChristmasElf Mon 19-Nov-12 20:46:17

I think it would actually be a good idea to go to mass, firstly to find out if you really are as happy with it's involvement in your child's school life as you think

then if you are and you like it then you have the option of baptising, a LOT of 3 year olds get baptised around here before the admissions open but many of them attended mass regulalry before that.

And if you don't like mass then you mightened like the catholic aspect to the education, its more involved than COE schools IMO, where they have more designated religious times, at catholic schools it is brought into absolutely everything not just prayer time etc

But either way you'll be more sure about how you want to proceed if you go along for a few weeks and see what you think

Portofino Mon 19-Nov-12 20:48:02

So you PRETEND to be Catholic - that is the way of doing things?

BuddyTheChristmasElf Mon 19-Nov-12 20:50:32

no, its not pretending to go to mass a few times and find out if you like it or not

if you do then there's no harm in baptising the child since they're going to taught under that system anyway, that's not pretending, if the OP is genuinely happy for the child to have a catholic education then how is it pretending?

if you don't like it then no harm done, turning up to mass a few times doesn't make you a catholic for life!

HouseOfBamboo Mon 19-Nov-12 20:53:55

Well if the church funds 10 percent, how about they get to pick 10 percent of the pupils?

BuddyTheChristmasElf Mon 19-Nov-12 20:55:33

you don't have to sign a life time contract at the door before you can go in and look around wink

and opting for a catholic school is a pretty big commitiment to supporting the child to learn about catholicism, which is basically what you promise at baptism, so there's no lying.

But it is IMO important to really know what you're getting into, its not just a few hymns in assembly, it's pretty full on and its worth being sure first

BuddyTheChristmasElf Mon 19-Nov-12 20:56:18

The fund 10% plus the land

HouseOfBamboo Mon 19-Nov-12 21:09:35

The land which, imho, is immorally owned because the church in the past scared people into leaving the land to them so they could avoid hell. Not terribly fair on today's taxpayer.

chloe74 Mon 19-Nov-12 21:09:36

Hmmm, 10% capital costs is peanuts to the church and means not a single penny per head of child. If my family donated 10% capital costs to a school should I be allowed to decide who gets selected for the school? That's not even getting into where the churches land and wealth came from. Its as corrupt as most other 'old' money businesses are and should be given back to the people it was taken from.

And the corruption continues today e.g. Last year Richmond council bought land in Twickenham, for £8.4 million. It then leased the land to the Catholic Church for FREE, to run two schools. Once the secondary was full it would have 93% of its places allocated to Catholic's. Last week parents started their high court battle for religious discrimination.


VeryProbablyStupid Mon 19-Nov-12 21:13:59

Thanks for all your replies.

I would like to point out that I never intended for my son to take the place is someone who was catholic or lived in the catchment area. Obviously I was thinking if there were extra spaces. The schools catchment area us very small so I'm hoping there will be room.
I am not religious myself, but I am not against religion. I wasn't brought up with any religion and I think its harder to commit in later life with very little information. That said, the main reason I want my son to to to that school is because it seems to be the best near us. But if it seems such a horribly bad idea to send him there maybe I was mistaken, I really don't know enough about it that's why I posted here.

And I won't be converting to catholicism just to get him into a school!

BuddyTheChristmasElf Mon 19-Nov-12 21:21:30

you wont find out if its better or not for you unless you find out more, go see what the church linked to the school is like, that does NOT = you converting!, go speak to the school directly

it might be the best option for other people BECAUSE of the religious aspect, so if that's not a priority for you then it might not be

look at ALL schools, don't rule any out because they seem unpopular, they might be perfect for you

word of mouth is bollocks IMO when it comes to schools, find out for yourself! I wouldn't touch with a barge pole some schools that are friend's no1 choice and vica verca

thisthreadwilloutme Mon 19-Nov-12 21:22:27

Find ou how many non catholic children got into the school over the past 5 years. In my school, unless your child is baptised Catholic you have zero chance. Other local schools also require church attendance. Look at the admissions criteria to see if this applies.

VeryProbablyStupid Mon 19-Nov-12 21:34:10

How do I find out all this stuff then? I had a Google but couldn't find any of this stuff

prh47bridge Mon 19-Nov-12 21:47:59

Just to clarify the funding position since there is some confusion here...

The land and buildings belong to the church. In theory all running costs are funded by the state. In practise there are a few areas such as buildings insurance which the church has to fund. The church also has to fund 10% of any capital costs (new buildings, refurbishing existing buildings, etc.).

seeker Mon 19-Nov-12 21:52:25

Have a good look at th Catholic faith and think about whether it's something you want your child to be associated with.

Then go for the one in the "rough part of town"

thisthreadwilloutme Mon 19-Nov-12 22:04:19

To find out you need to talk to the school - they should be happy to give you the info.

HouseOfBamboo Mon 19-Nov-12 22:17:31

Your local council website should have an Education admissions section, there should hopefully be some useful info on individual schools there.

HouseOfBamboo Mon 19-Nov-12 22:20:31

Seeker - yes that about sums up how absurd and corrupt the system is.

KenDoddsDadsDog Mon 19-Nov-12 22:29:53

Schools are very wise to people converting to get into schools and the conversion itself is intense and takes months.
But research it thoroughly - it's not just the Lords Prayer and a few other things , it is very full on indeed.
I had a very good education in a Catholic school but due to events of recent years I very much doubt if I want my DD to be educated in the faith.

the info should be online. Look at the ofstead website im sure theres a link there to the stats site for schools. DSs school is similar, the headmaster told us how many get in each year who are not worshipers or in cachement (very popular school, basically noone!). Phone school and ask for a copy of their admissions criteria. Or should be on the council website. I think you should seriously consider if you want a catholic education for your child first though, do go to the church and see what it feels like because you WILL have to be quite involved and you may not feel comfortable when your hearing about sin etc.

chloe74 Mon 19-Nov-12 22:59:58

Bad news: parents lost the above mentioned case at the high court. Apparently its legal for a council to take £8,400,000 of tax payers money to buy the land for two schools where the intake will be 93% Catholic and the church pay ZERO rent. I hang my head in shame at the religious discrimination in this country.

HouseOfBamboo Mon 19-Nov-12 23:17:30

"Bad news: parents lost the above mentioned case at the high court. Apparently its legal for a council to take £8,400,000 of tax payers money to buy the land for two schools where the intake will be 93% Catholic and the church pay ZERO rent. I hang my head in shame at the religious discrimination in this country."

See if you were to replace the word 'schools' with 'hospitals' in the above example, most people would think it was bonkers and outrageous.

But a lot of people are just blind to how absurd the school system is, due to personal interests, or a vague notion that children and religion 'go together' confused

chloe74 Mon 19-Nov-12 23:22:47

Religions/cults/sects run schools to indoctrinate children and secure future revenue schemes.

HouseOfBamboo Mon 19-Nov-12 23:34:22

That's the sad truth.

Sorry, none of which helps you, OP, no advice to give but hope you find a decent option somewhere.

chloe74 Tue 20-Nov-12 00:30:31

I stick to my opinion of converting and changing the system from the inside.

alfy Tue 20-Nov-12 01:11:50

from my experience where a catholic school has more than 95% catholic children would try their utmost best to turn away non -catholic children even if they did have a place !

izzyishavingababyAGAIN Tue 20-Nov-12 01:17:10

DH and I were both dragged brought up Catholic, we would not send our children to Catholic Primaries (we changed our minds at last minute almost), because we do not agree with certain aspects of the faith.

mummyonvalium Tue 20-Nov-12 01:27:41

To be accepted for a faith place you would probably have to live in the Church for the next year and even then woud be highly suspicious - I would take the non-faith place.

sashh Tue 20-Nov-12 05:52:30

I like the idea of there being a strong set of morals

But do you want the morals taught in RC schools?

The kind of morals that say a 9 year old, pregnant with twins after being raped has commited a 'mortal sin' for having an abortion and is thrown out of the church, but the man who raped her isn't because his crime is lesser?

prh47bridge Tue 20-Nov-12 12:10:31

Religions/cults/sects run schools to indoctrinate children

Faith schools appeared before the state got involved with educating children. The objective was not to indoctrinate children, just to educate them. In my experience most faith schools do attempt to indoctrinate children. Indeed, there are many where you would hardly know it was a faith school.

Personally I am neither for nor against faith schools but I understand the history that has led us to the current situation and am aware that abolishing faith schools would cost the government billions of pounds. The current government has stipulated that new academies (not convertors) and free schools with a religious character must allocate at least 50% of places without reference to faith criteria. This does not, however, affect existing faith schools.

Regarding Richmond:

- The church will pay a peppercorn rent
- The church will fund 100% of the capital costs of upgrading the site
- One third of the places at the primary school will be non-faith places
- The 93% figure seems to relate to the secondary school only and assumes it is oversubscribed with Catholic applicants

If the church was not paying the capital costs it is likely that there would be no new schools. It is also unlikely that there would be any schools if the church was made to pay a commercial rent for the site as school funding would not cover this. This should not be interpreted as saying I support what is happening in Richmond - I have no views one way or the other.

SaggyOldClothCatPuss Tue 20-Nov-12 12:24:06

"Can you imagine the outcry if an employer interviewing for a job said your not getting it because your muslim/jewish/cathloic etc."
Surely the clue is in the name though? 'Catholic school'?
If you were interviewing for a job in a mosque, and you werent muslim, would you still feel discriminated against?
Its a school run by Catholics and aimed at Catholics. Attendees will be taught in accordance with Catholic beliefs. If you arent Catholic then why do you need your child to go there?!

CecilyP Tue 20-Nov-12 13:01:18

I suppose the theory is that Catholic parents in Richmond will choose this school, thus freeing up places in other popular schools in Richmond. Don't know how it will work in practice. Maybe they will only choose it if the other likely option is an unpopular school.

prh47bridge Tue 20-Nov-12 13:04:35

A "not" seems to have gone missing in my post. That should say, "In my experience most faith schools do not attempt to indoctrinate children".

prh47bridge Tue 20-Nov-12 13:12:21

Can you imagine the outcry if an employer interviewing for a job said your not getting it because your muslim/jewish/cathloic etc.

If you were being interviewed for a job in, say, the Catholic church, a mosque or a synagogue I would not expect any outcry at all if you were rejected because you were not of the correct religion. If there was an outcry I would be forced to conclude that this country had become intolerant of religion. In my view that would be a form of discrimination.

prh47bridge Tue 20-Nov-12 13:18:25

CecilyP - My understanding is that Richmond has a large Catholic population and there is strong demand for a Catholic secondary school. There are currently no Catholic secondary schools in the borough. If this is correct then, as you say, Catholic parents are likely to choose this school freeing up places in other popular schools. It is also true that the number of children of school age is growing so Richmond probably needs more school places (I've got the figures somewhere but no time to dig them out at the moment).

HouseOfBamboo Tue 20-Nov-12 22:34:30

"If you were being interviewed for a job in, say, the Catholic church, a mosque or a synagogue I would not expect any outcry at all if you were rejected because you were not of the correct religion."

It's not the same thing at all. Presumably churches, mosques, and synagogues are entirely funded by the interest groups that run them?

Whereas state schools are largely funded by the taxpayer, albeit some with a 'specially interested contribution' being made by certain 'special interest groups'.

I can understand that the govt might be relieved to have any pressure removed from the overcrowded state system, but where do they draw the line? Will we be welcoming schools partly funded by scientology / moonies / any loon with a desire for social control with open arms just because they 'free up places'?

mam29 Tue 20-Nov-12 22:45:15

Dont know if this is typical bud dds old rc primary

we non rc got in

63%catholic children
67%catholic teaching staff.

if its undersubscribed you may be ok,

if over then noc rc be right at bottom dont think you would.

plus by way takes whole year course then ceremony at easter to covert to rc its lentgth process.

BuddyTheChristmasElf Wed 21-Nov-12 11:32:00

"plus by way takes whole year course then ceremony at easter to covert to rc its lentgth process"
that's for an adult to convert
to baptise a child its one evening class

mam29 Wed 21-Nov-12 13:18:19

I was under the impression that they would only baptise child if one parent converted.I guess depends on the preist and the parish.

BuddyTheChristmasElf Wed 21-Nov-12 13:23:02

It probably does depend on the church, but I know a child recently baptised at our church whose parents aren't catholic. Its generally strict about attendance etc and the school is over subscribed, but I guess the parents convinced them that they would be supporting a catholic upbringing
Its quite hard to do the conversion course, its a big time commitment and not at all flexible, so maybe the parents showed interest in doing it sometime but couldn't do it this year because of work etc

VeryProbablyStupid Wed 21-Nov-12 20:04:15

I have just revisited the schools website and found this quote "We are a fully inclusive school - we welcome families from all backgrounds, abilities, faiths, cultures and race. "

I assume this means they wont mind if my son is not catholic?

BuddyTheChristmasElf Wed 21-Nov-12 20:08:27

OP you need to look at the admission categories (from 1 to.. depends some go up to 5, some go on past 15!)

then look at which you fall into

then find out where their cut off has been for the last few years (i.e. is it all that fit into 1, 2 and 3 and then some 4)

our local catholic school would say the same, but their actual cut off is the weekly attenders in catchment one (which is not no1, things like children in care, and weekly attendeers in catchment with siblings at the school take up the higher catagories).. so even monthly attenders in catchment with siblings in the school are bellow the cut off

Whereas in another local one, they've been cutting off at in catchment other faiths with some from the next category (i.e. out of catchment other faiths) getting in in the last few years

BuddyTheChristmasElf Wed 21-Nov-12 20:11:55

( the categories are different for different schools by the way)

It is quite unusual for the admission criteria to not be on the school's website

VeryProbablyStupid Wed 21-Nov-12 20:20:01

Its not on there that I can see. Your post confused me... Lol I have no idea where to find all this information!

BuddyTheChristmasElf Wed 21-Nov-12 20:35:16

sorry, right

its not usually a separate tab all to itself, its usually a link to a pdf on the same page as uniform policy, absence policy etc etc

so each school has an admission policy, which is made up of priority categories. Faith schools can make their own (so long as they prioritise children in care so that usually takes up priority no 1), and state school ones are set by the council so they are the same as each other (in this council anyway)

when you apply to the school, the council asks the school which category you are in, then the council fills the catagories in order of preference. So say there are 60 places and 30 people with foster children apply, and 30 people from category 2 apply for it as their first chioce, then noone from 3 or bellow will get in!

Here is an example. This may NOT be the same catagories as your local school, for example some have no sibling priority at all and some place siblings attending the school as a high priority.

At this particular school for the last few years everyone from 1-5 got in with some from 6 getting in. Noone from 7-10 has got in in recent years. This can vary if the number of people putting it as a preference change or if the class sizes change. Also if class sizes at OTHER local schools expand it can change the amt of categories of all local schools getting into them IYKWIM

1.Siblings of children who were in the school prior to July 2002 and who are still at the school.

2.Siblings of children who joined the school after July 2002 whose parents are committed members of (taken in order):
X or Y Church

Z Church

other Church of England Churches in the Deanery

any other member church of Churches Together in England or the Evangelical Alliance,

3.Children of families who are new to the school who are committed members of X Church or Y Church.

4.Children of families who are new to the school who are committed members of Z

5.Children of families who are new to the school who are committed members of other Church of England Churches in the Deanery.

6.Children of families who are new to the school who are committed members of any other member church of Churches Together in England or the Evangelical Alliance.

7.Siblings of children not covered by Categories 1 and 2 who live in the catchment area.

8.Siblings of children not covered by Categories 1 and 2 who live outside the catchment area.

9.Children of new families not covered by the above categories who live in the catchment area.

10.Children of new families not covered by the above categories who live outside the catchment area.

BuddyTheChristmasElf Wed 21-Nov-12 20:37:06

to confuse things further, the catchment areas for church schools are not the same as the state catchment areas

BuddyTheChristmasElf Wed 21-Nov-12 20:41:09

p.s. I found the link to that school's admission policy under the "documents" tab, On another local school its under the "newsletters & policies" tab

VeryProbablyStupid Wed 21-Nov-12 20:43:53

Wow, ok. I get it now.

But I would be in category ten, so I doubt I would get DS in!

Hmm, Ill have another look on the site. I cant even find the catchment area for the school on the whole of the internet..

BuddyTheChristmasElf Wed 21-Nov-12 20:45:30

here's another example (under "useful information" then "policies")

1. to baptised Catholic children who are in public care, i.e. Looked After Children

2. to baptised Catholic children where there is documented evidence of exceptional social or medical need.

3. to baptised Catholic siblings of children attending the school at the time of admission (1*);

4. to baptised Catholic children from the parishes of X, with the supporting signature of their parish priest;

5. to baptised Catholic children, with the supporting signature of their parish priest, from a)the Catholic parishes of A, B, &D

6. other baptised Catholic children

7. to children not of the Catholic Faith who are in public care, i.e. Looked After Children

8. to children not of the Catholic Faith where there is documented evidence of exceptional social or medical need.

9. to siblings of children not of the Catholic faith attending the school at the time of admission

10. the Governors also welcome applications from those not of the Catholic faith, but for whom the religious, spiritual and moral atmosphere of the school is of prime importance.
abaptised Christians with a letter of support from a recognised Christian denomination
bbaptised Christians without a letter of support from a recognised Christian denomination
cnot baptised but with a letter of support from a recognised Christian denomination
dthose not of a recognised Christian denomination

BuddyTheChristmasElf Wed 21-Nov-12 20:46:32

"But I would be in category ten, so I doubt I would get DS in!"
no, you might be cat 5 at YOUR local school, different school different catagories.
and if its undersubscribed then people in all categories get in

VeryProbablyStupid Wed 21-Nov-12 20:48:11

I think it may be undersubscribed, only because the web page says there is currently places available in every year group.

BuddyTheChristmasElf Wed 21-Nov-12 20:48:36

(in my second cut n paste cat 10 was divided into A-D but they didn't show :-S)

Blu Wed 21-Nov-12 20:50:42

What about the other school that gets good results? Have you been for a look round?

You need to look at the schools admissions criteria, work out whihc criteria you would meet and then look on your LA website and see how many children from that category get admitted. If it is completely oversubscribed and no catholic children from your area fet in, then you will need to think again.

What is the matter with the other school, apart from the area it is in?

BuddyTheChristmasElf Wed 21-Nov-12 20:50:53

well find out first hand where they've cut off the last couple of years. Do not! I repeat, DO NOT listen to any second hand information that's going round the town about school admissions, people have their own agendas and there's a load of rubbish floating around here about various schools and who they do and don't take.

BuddyTheChristmasElf Wed 21-Nov-12 20:58:48

and find out the catchments first hand too so you know how far out of them you are, if you ARE out of them, because if they only take SOME from the out of catchment category it'll go by proximity so in that instance distance matters

remebering (sorry to repeat but some people don't realise this) that state catchments are not church catchments

and if you are thinking of having more children, think twice about schools with no sibling priority unless you are in a really high catagory anyway! Lots of people get stung by that one

BuddyTheChristmasElf Wed 21-Nov-12 20:59:47

(or on the flip side if oversubscribed and they cut off half way though an IN catchment priority category, it then goes by proximity as well)

My children have all attended an RC primary. When my eldest DD was admitted 14 years ago the school was undersubscribed and took children of all faiths and none as long as the parents supported the ethos of the school. By the time my DS was admitted 2 years ago the school was massively oversubscribed and places were allocated to Baptised Catholics only. Parents have the right to withdraw their child from RE lessons but in my experience these have been a mix of Catholic teaching and understanding other world religions. I don't think it was too full on but I am a practicing Catholic, so don't know how I would feel about it if I was looking at it from another faith - or indeed no faith. In Year 3 and Year 6 Catholic children in this Diocese are prepared for the Sacraments at school so some RE was specific to this.

In my Local Authority the school admission criteria is published in the Education section of the County Council website. I would also suggest contacting the school directly. There may well be additional forms to fill in to apply for admission to the school. The school will be able to give you a copy of their admission policy and should also be able to tell you some information to assist you in making your choice. I personally would ask them to tell me the following (for perhaps the last 3 years)

1. What is their planned admission number (PAN) each year
2. How many pupils they admitted each year
3. How many non-Catholic children were admitted each year

VeryProbablyStupid Thu 22-Nov-12 09:38:49


My main problem here is that I have trawled the internet and cannot seem to find any of this LEA information etc. The schools website does not have the admission criteria or any other useful information as far as I can see.

I have looked at the catchment area online, but it is not showing up at all, there is another catholic school very close to the one I am interested in (further away from me) and that catchment area seems to be showing on top of the other one. However, the catchment area that I can see ends one street before my house, so if distance is a factor I would stand a good chance I think,

With regard to the other school, it does have a good rep, but Im only basing that on the opinion of a family friend who is a governor for that school. My only problem with it is that its of equal distance away as the catholic one, and it is in a quite rough area. Its a much bigger school with bigger classes, and I genuinely would prefer the small classes and environment of the catholic school.

prh47bridge Thu 22-Nov-12 10:44:17

If you PM me the name of the school and the LA I will see if I can find the admission criteria for you.

Pyrrah Thu 22-Nov-12 12:56:19

I think just about every faith school says that it welcomes children of other faiths and none etc. Many of them state it safe in the knowledge that they will never be in the position of having to actually accept a child of another or no faith!

HouseOfBamboo Thu 22-Nov-12 13:10:27

Well sometimes they have to, when they are undersubscribed by children of the 'right' faith.

'Have to' being the operative phrase, since they are state funded on a per child basis, and can't logistically afford to turn down the fees. Plus there's always the hope of being able to convert them I suppose. hmm

HouseOfBamboo Thu 22-Nov-12 13:17:32

OP - actually a valid question to ask is why the class sizes are smaller? If it's because they are undersubscribed, then this will affect the school's overall budget (from the govt) for the pupils.

Although large class sizes seem undesirable, in practice it does at least mean the school is fully funded, and should be able to afford more teachers / TAs / facilities / resources. So it's not always a bad thing.

BuddyTheChristmasElf Thu 22-Nov-12 13:47:00

If you're having no luck call into the reception desk during school time (not pick up or drop off time) or email them for the pdfs

(actually I find it very useful to do it this way to find out how good a school is at dealing with enquiries.. since you'll be dealing with them for years if that's where your child goes)

VeryProbablyStupid Thu 22-Nov-12 21:38:23

I guess the only solution is to ask the school, but because obviously they are biased I dont think I would get a genuine representation of the admission criteria for non catholics.


BuddyTheChristmasElf Thu 22-Nov-12 22:01:07

if you ask it as "which admission criteria number did you cut off at in the last 3 years" you'll get a straight forward answer

BuddyTheChristmasElf Thu 22-Nov-12 22:03:33

its pretty black and white, and the school doesn't set the cut off, it just sets the priority criterias. They don't know which number it'll be each year either till it happens, they just tell the LEA who has submitted the additional information for the higher catagories, then the LEA offers places and it depends on numbers applying

annh Thu 22-Nov-12 22:06:41

Why on earth do you think you would not get a genuine representation of the admissions criteria from the school office? Are you suggesting that they would lie to you because you are not Catholic?

BuddyTheChristmasElf Thu 22-Nov-12 22:10:56

they don't have a real criteria list and a fake one for non-catholics. Just ask for the list

but if you already feel that they are going to be dishonest with you becaue you are non catholics before you've even had one interraction with them, then it may not be the school for you - explore those feelings a bit more, they're illogical, but valid for you.

chloe74 Thu 22-Nov-12 23:05:37

I wouldn't be surprised if they had a separate set of stats for non-Catholics as they do for the faithful! That's how backdoor selection works.

VeryProbablyStupid Fri 23-Nov-12 10:46:53

Obviously I dont think the school will lie to me because I am a non catholic. Honestly....

I was referring to the fact that on their website they say they are happy to accept non faith children, but a few people on this thread have said that may not be true, but they will of course say it. I was simply thinking that the school would reiterate that. I didnt know that if I went there they would have to give me the exact stats. Of course I dont think any school would make up stats and admission criteria..

weegiemum Fri 23-Nov-12 11:06:46

Why not go for Welsh? You'd be giving your son a genuine chance to be bilingual and there are loads of advantages that come with that, including more job prospects in the future, better results in maths, more skills in music, being easier to learn a 3rd language in the future.
I don't know how the Welsh system operates, butmy children are in the Gaelic medium education programme in Scotland. All 3 of them are performing above the national levels expected in both English and Gaelic, these English levels are the same as for monolingual kids. And though I've picked up a bit of the language, I don't really speak it at all, yet this hasn't held my children back.
If it's a good school, close by, then I'd look in to it and investigate the advantages of bilingualism. HTH.

HouseOfBamboo Fri 23-Nov-12 11:32:39

"I was referring to the fact that on their website they say they are happy to accept non faith children, but a few people on this thread have said that may not be true, but they will of course say it"

I think the fact that they almost certainly prioritise Catholic children above any other group means that their ideal is to fill the school with Catholic children - there's no getting around that.

I think some types of faith school which are largely govt funded are obliged to have a percentage intake from 'other' groups, but I'm not sure about the situation in Wales (which is presumably where you are?). If you google 'faith schools' you might find more info.

My point earlier was that if there aren't enough Catholic children to fill a school year then they will be forced to accept other children for financial reasons. Whether the school sees this as an ideal situation or not is a moot point... I'm not sure I'd want my child attending a school where they were offered a place effectively under sufferance, and despite their attempts at religious discrimination.

Having said that I'm sure schools' individual cultures will vary according to the staff and governors.

prh47bridge Fri 23-Nov-12 12:24:59

I sent this school's admission criteria to the OP offlist yesterday.

They appear to breach the Admissions Code for Wales in several respects.

- They do not prioritise Catholic looked after children ahead of all other Catholic children. Instead there are several categories of Catholic children and they only prioritise looked after children within each category. So, for example, some non-looked after Catholic children with siblings at the school will come ahead of looked after Catholic children who do not have siblings at the school.

- If there are not enough Catholic children to fill all the places they specifically state they will leave places vacant rather than admit children if the are unhappy with the parents' reasons for applying.

- No tie breaker is stated for placing children within a category in order.

- The governors have given themselves the right to allocate places at their discretion for individual or exceptional cases.

- There is a comment within the admission criteria that suggests the governors view the Admissions Code purely as a set of recommendations. They do not seem to understand that compliance is compulsory.

It seems the LA's admissions forum has seriously fallen down on the job. A number of schools in their area seem to have similar breaches of the Code. If they were in England and someone referred this school to the Schools Adjudicator they would definitely be told to change.

VeryProbablyStupid Fri 23-Nov-12 17:04:47

I will bear the welsh school in mind. I only worry because I am awful at learning languages and dont want my not speaking welsh to affect DS.

It seems to be such a complicated situation. I naturally assumed if they were under subscribed DS would get in but as the previous poster has shown, they really really dont want this to happen, so much so they will breach the Admissions Code!

BuddyTheChristmasElf Fri 23-Nov-12 23:33:55

"I will bear the welsh school in mind. I only worry because I am awful at learning languages and dont want my not speaking welsh to affect DS."

OP I don't understand this, I'm rubbish at languages, and as such I go out of my way to increase my DCs exposure to languages since they won't be getting any help with them from me IYKWIM, so because I am rubbish at them, a bilingual school would be more of a bonus to me than it would be if I had an aptitude for them myself so could help the DCs if they ever wanted to learn??

VeryProbablyStupid Sat 24-Nov-12 13:57:49

I think its a genuine concern. Whether it will improve ds's language skills isn't ny issue, I think a lot of people worry that if they don't speak Welsh they can't send their child to a Welsh school. Giving him the opportunity doesn't change the fact that there will no doubt be times that he will need help that I can't give him.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now