Clegg jnr to go to state-funded comp

(142 Posts)
LondonMother Mon 04-Mar-13 16:13:06

Just an ordinary state school, after all the talk - he's going to the London Oratory. wink

Are they still doing their dodgy interviewing, which Ruth Kelly waved through for them when she was Sec of State for Education?

tiggytape Mon 04-Mar-13 16:16:43

No - the interviews stopped in 2006.

PhilJW Mon 04-Mar-13 17:01:21

Let be fair here.....presumably Clegg Jnr qualifies in the highest catagory (as all admitted pupils are in the highest catagory) which means that

Mrs Clegg and Clegg Jnr attends Mass on Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation.
Clegg Jnr fulfils the Church’s requirements regarding Baptism which is currently within 6 months of birth.
Clegg Jnr has received his first Holy Communion.
Clegg Jnr or Mrs Clegg serves in addition to their mass obligations in any Catholic Parish or in the wider Catholic Church.

And also Clegg Jnr's name came out when the the names of those admitted were drawn in a random ballot containing everyone who qualifies as above.

Why would anyone suspect that there was anything else to consider......?

Copthallresident Mon 04-Mar-13 17:37:14

mmm Not an ordinary state school, a selective state school, albeit selecting on having done the baptism in time and earning brownie points from your local priest, rather than academic ability. Oratory has stood up against the diocese to preserve it's tradition of being the top Catholic Boys' School serving London's Catholics in the face of their "left wing social engineering" shockattempts to make it into a ordinary local comp. blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/damianthompson/100087049/london-oratory-school-restores-traditional-criteria-for-admissions-will-the-left-wing-diocese-try-to-punish-it/

I just wonder if Miriam has been cleaning the silver and arranging the flowers, and pressganging Clegg JR into being an alter boy from age 10 as all the middle class mothers hereabouts know to do....

starlady Mon 04-Mar-13 17:50:45

Copthallresident - two sides to that argument though, isn't there? after all, Fulham is hardly an ordinary neighbourhood is it? And - going back in the mists of time admittedly - my own husband - East London council estate, free school meals, mixed race, parent with english as a second language wouldn't have got a look in. I know one boy from my down at heel London borough who'll be in Master Clegg's year. He's Afro-Carribean. I'm glad The Oratory isn't completely forgetting it's there for those who need a foot up too.

meditrina Mon 04-Mar-13 17:51:59

They're only doing what the Blairs did. Is it really news?

Belltree Mon 04-Mar-13 17:52:21

It certainly sheds light on the whole 'it might be private or it might not' thing.

Hope Clegg Jnr and Miriam really have met all those obligations or there is going to be hellfire and brimstone to pay!

starlady Mon 04-Mar-13 18:02:51

And Copthallresident just actually read the blog you linked to. This backs up what I was saying. When admissions were on distance it became LESS diverse.
I looked at The Oratory, but didn't apply. The travel was way too much for my DS. An there was no way out house in crappy borough could have bought anything more than aone bedroom flat in West London ....

Copthallresident Mon 04-Mar-13 18:45:13

starlady Well too late for this round but the schools adjudicator clearly thinks the admissions criteria are discriminatory. www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2251794/Parents-volunteer-flower-arranging-advantage-oversubscribed-church-school-places-watchdog-warns.html I actually posted the Telegraph article to shed light on a mindset that would think that describing the diocese as "lefty engineers" was derogatory when in fact it actually isn't a bad description of Christianity....

I give all my good wishes to those children who gain access to Oratory from ethnically diverse or disadvantaged backgrounds but the fact is that the parents who are not savvy about getting their children baptised and winning the necessary brownie points, or simply do not have the time, are far more likely to come from disadvantaged backgrounds. In this area we have seen a Catholic Primary School that once served the whole community come to be so dominated by middle class parents, who having cottoned on to it's improving results suddenly appeared in local churches in ever increasing numbers, that it now has the lowest proportion of children on Free School Meals of any primary school in the country. You can't get up the road for the 4 by 4s at drop off and pick up. The accumulation of points for Oratory is all part of the culture. Devout Catholics who have been members of the congregation for many years are dismayed at the development.

RussiansOnTheSpree Mon 04-Mar-13 19:37:51

Copthall I do not believe that any 'devout catholic' would be dismayed at the suggestion that people should attend mass, and get their children baptised within the first 6 months. There are some national differences on baptism date but if you are attending mass regularly while you are upduffed, and then turn up one week with a newborn, the first thing you get asked, by the priest, is when you want the baptism. It's made quite clear to people from different countries that here we baptise early. The only aspect of the Oratory criteria I find troubling is the requirement to attend your parish for HDOs - kids at catholic primary schools will often have mass there, people who work may well go to an early morning or lunchtime mass close to where they work.

If people are working the system and just going to mass to get on the list and not actually going for any other reason then yes, sure....but how, actually, can we know? It was actually Elizabeth I who said she could not make windows into men's souls but despite who said it, it remains true. We might suspect people are being dodgy. But we can't actually know.

bonymaloney Mon 04-Mar-13 19:40:36

The Clegg boy is at the Oratory Junior House so no suprise really.

Copthallresident Mon 04-Mar-13 21:17:35

Russians I'm sorry but why would a devout Catholic not be dismayed to see a school which served a whole community and helped a lot of disadvantaged children become so exclusively affluent and middle class that in terms of it's social make up it is in effect a private school.

LaVolcan Mon 04-Mar-13 21:46:43

I'm sure the average member of a congregation wouldn't have problem if the people had been coming to church for years, then had a child, then had it baptised. It's the ones who start coming to Church just as they have children and then, once the child is in the desired school, suddenly find that they have lost their faith....

But on the otherhand, having a child is often a time when you start to question what sort of values you want to bring your child up with, so is a time when you might start going to Church.

I'm sure that neither Miriam Clegg nor Cherie Blair were in that category; I'm sure they had been practising Catholics for years....but then, in both cases, there was a nearer Catholic comprehensive to where they lived.

RussiansOnTheSpree Mon 04-Mar-13 22:06:27

Copthall Devout Catholics will not be dismayed about the criteria you describe being applied. We would be dismayed if they are not being applied fairly or correctly. But there is nothing to be dismayed about in the criteria themselves. And there is absolutely nothing 'middle class' about going to mass or being baptised.

RussiansOnTheSpree Mon 04-Mar-13 22:10:58

@lavolcan I agree that flag of convenience Catholics are nobody's favourite people. Hence the criteria we often see applied to speediness of baptism. You make excellent points about the school choice of both the Cleggs and the Blairs. Why not go for the closest catholic school?

Copthallresident Mon 04-Mar-13 23:11:07

Russians I am talking as the wife of a Catholic with two DDs baptised at the Brompton Oratory by one of the Benedictine fathers who educated DH. So when I make comment on what devout Catholics feel about the changes in the local school and the appearance of conveniance Catholics in the congregation who briefly develop a passion for polishing silver and taking over the flower arrangement around their ds's tenth birthday, not to mention the fact all the alter boys are aged between ten and eleven, it is not supposition, it is the result of discussion. And a common christian unease that local children whose parents may not be as savvy or have the time to jump through the hoops may be missing out on being helped by the school in the way they were in the past. An unease clearly shared by the schools adjudicator in the case of Oratory's admissions arrangements

I would also add that around here that unease spreads to the priest in a neighbouring suburb who notoriously refuses to sign a reference for the primary school served by his Parish unless the family are from a Catholic country or he feels have really proved to him that they are truly devout Catholics or in need of the supportive education the primary which serves his parish provides. That primary has a much more representative social mix. More lefty social engineering!! Of course middle class parents are up in arms at the unfairness of it, and make sure they live in other Parishes (in fact that advice is here somewhere on Mumsnet Local because if you want advice on the rules of the game this is one place you can come wink)

It does sum up the split in all churches over faith selection, between those who feel the fair and christian thing is to provide education to children regardless of faith, and those who believe that it's all about bums on seats in church. I suppose my shock at the hypocracy surrounding school admissions arises from the fact that I grew up in a city where Catholic Schools set up to educate previous waves of immigrants now do such an amazing job of meeting the needs of a multicultural intake.

RussiansOnTheSpree Mon 04-Mar-13 23:16:05

Copthall but that's not what you said originally. Of course people are not going to be happy about convenience Catholics. That is a comletely different issue than having sensible criteria and applying them and you should know that. And I speak as an actual catholic not someone who is married to one. But sadly I live somewhere where there are no catholic secondary schools at all.

RussiansOnTheSpree Mon 04-Mar-13 23:18:09

And it is a nonsense to say that devout Catholics don't have time to 'jump through the hoops' of going to mass every week and getting their babies baptised when they are born. That is a ridiculous thing to say. Also - your church must be very unusual to only have 10-11 year old servers. At our church they start at 8. And go on till they go to uni. And we don't even have a catholic school.

But isnt the Cleggs Atheist? hmm

Arent. Arent. My shock affects my grammar. (or maybe it is my lack of Education.)

Copthallresident Mon 04-Mar-13 23:34:17

Russians and we don't even have a Catholic School which is probably why you haven't had experience of these behaviours. Entry to Oratory, this year at least, is dependent on a lottery of goodness. Attendance at mass and early baptism is not enough, you have to earn extra points by having shown a substantial contribution to the ministry, through activities such as arranging flowers, cleaning the silver etc. etc. Admission to local primaries depends on a reference from the priest in which the priest has a certain amount of discretion, we have priests who just want your bums on seats, and priests who are not willing for schools admissions to become subject to that sort of brownie point earning. As I posted in the link above the schools adjudicator has ruled that the admissions criteria for Oratory do discriminate unfairly since not all parents will have the time or resources to devote to these activities, however whether Oratory take notice of the ruling is another matter, it has no legal bite. Our local Anglican Church also posts online a list of things you can do to strengthen your faith school application, which if you did it all would be virtually a full time job....

Copthallresident Mon 04-Mar-13 23:39:43

'Pure' He is, she is a Catholic and has raised the son as a Catholic, in fact the points system for Oratory gives more points to a family where one member is practising and the other not than if both were Catholic but one doesn't attend church frequently enough.

I'm still interested to know if Miriam has been cleaning the silver but as Clegg Jr is apparently at Junior House then presumably his musical ability will have exempted her?

RussiansOnTheSpree Mon 04-Mar-13 23:46:51

Copthall I say again to state that people do not have the time to be involved in their parishes is silly. They might not want to be involved. Fair enough. I completely get that. It's their choice. I grew up in an area which has an oversubscribed catholic school (often talked about on these boards) and many of my friends still live there and now have daughters at that school (and it's even more oversubscribed these days) so I do know what it can be like and I am as hmm about convenience Catholics as anyone. But I'm equally hmm about people who claim they don't have time to be involved in their parish. They do have time they just chose to do other things. Which is fine but all choices have consequences.

I'm a bit surprised you keep focussing on arranging the flowers and policing the silver as these are not exactly the most important ministries in the church. Of the top of my head, I know servers, readers, people who take the sacrament to the sick/elderly, people who do youth ministry, people who do music ministry, people who are part of the massive team doing the childrens' liturgy, people involved in stewardship (that might just be something our diocese does) ...al these things are less laughable than 'flower arranging' or 'polishing the silver'. S I guess that's why you didn't mention them.

Where we go on holiday, the PP always tries to press signed newsletters on us when we leave mass at the end presumably because we have school age children. I guess either he gets lots of requests for that sort of thing from holiday makers or that's what they have to do in their own diocese.

Copthallresident Tue 05-Mar-13 00:04:58

Russians From the Oratory website

^Involvement in parish activities:
(a) Assisting in the Liturgy: for example by reading, singing in the choir or playing
an instrument, altar serving, cleaning, flower arranging.
(b) Assisting in parish pastoral work: for example by visiting those in need, participating
in parish groups such as St Vincent de Paul, Catholic Women's League, Union of Catholic
Mothers, Legion of Mary or similar prayer groups or societies.
(c) Assisting in parish administration: for example housekeeping and maintenance of
church property.
Involvement in wider Catholic Church activities:
(a)Assisting in or membership of organisations or groups
(b) Voluntary work: by visiting or helping the sick, housebound or disadvantaged.

Points allocated for service are:
Service over the three years 2
Service of less than three years 1
No service 0^

I actually find it somewhat incredible that they would actually specifically mention cleaning, flower arranging and housekeeping since as far as I know cleanliness being next to godliness was a very Victorian value.

If you can't see that a family suffering the effects of deprivation such as poverty, carer responsibilities, multiple jobs, perhaps a large family to manage may well struggle to find the time required, let alone have the know how and social confidence to become involved in these activities...... There is plenty of evidence to show that even the more usual basic selection on early baptism and mass attendence results in schools that do not have the same social mix as the surrounding community. In the case of the school I mentioned that has the lowest level of Free School Meals in the country, the community primary school next door has ten times as many pupils recieving Free School Meals.

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