What's God got to do with it?!

(59 Posts)
Fruitflylady Thu 13-Oct-16 10:43:58

I'm a bit cross; choosing a secondary school for my yr 6 DS and our closest school (10-15 min walk) is judged outstanding, great exam results, amazing facilities (it has a swimming pool ffs!) etc., etc. The only problem is that it is a catholic school and as such we are right at the bottom of the admissions criteria, my son having the misfortune to have been born to atheist parents.
The next nearest school is a fairly bog standard comp, recently downgraded by ofsted to 'requires improvement'.
The next after that, actually in the town we live in, but a good 40min walk, has been 'requiring improvement' for the last goodness knows how many years, is undersubscribed, suffers a bad reputation, in the middle of a council estate, and is now undergoing a consultation with the local council to either academise it or merge with the nearby outstanding junior and infant schools to become a 4-16 through school. On the plus side, they have an amazing headteacher, who is full of enthusiasm and ambition, and on my visits to the school I have been impressed by how happy all the students and staff seem. Their exam results are appalling though!

What on earth should I do? How can I choose between these schools?!

Riversiderunner Thu 13-Oct-16 11:37:55

If God is not your thing, surely you don't want your child going to a religious school?

RedHelenB Thu 13-Oct-16 12:52:12

Schools can & do change. Our nearest has gone from requires improvement to more or less Nat ave for gcses over the last 2 years so I would look at local school and see how it feels. At the end of the day it doesn't matter to you how many get the gcses but whether your DS does.

ErrolTheDragon Thu 13-Oct-16 16:19:07

Discriminating against kids because of their parents' beliefs or lack thereof stinks, doesn't it.

ExitPursuedBySpartacus Thu 13-Oct-16 16:36:35

Aye them bastard Catholics.

You wouldn't want your son associating with them.

Isn't there a bus to the one in the town with the happy pupils?

BertrandRussell Thu 13-Oct-16 16:48:34

"If God is not your thing, surely you don't want your child going to a religious school?"

I have no idea whether you are a person of faith or not-but this is just the sort of arrogant, privileged remark that gives Christians a bad name.

PotteringAlong Thu 13-Oct-16 16:50:30

is undersubscribed, suffers a bad reputation, in the middle of a council estate

Really? In the middle of a council estate is in the list of your thing against it?

ErnesttheBavarian Thu 13-Oct-16 17:01:03

but weren't faith school set up for kids of that faith. then they opened the door to take others, once the faith kids were accommodated. whats wrong with that?

if a club or whatever is set up e.g. for women, then men start saying they want to join too, women would rightly say the club was set up by them, for them. what's the difference?

anon123456 Thu 13-Oct-16 17:02:47

Can't you move house to a different area, or go private?
You really wouldn't want to go to Catholic school if your atheist.

ErrolTheDragon Thu 13-Oct-16 17:05:53

Ernest - these 'clubs' are very largely state-funded.
Anon - I do hope that was meant to be a joke? (hard to tell, sometimes people do say that sort of ridiculous thing seriously)

ErrolTheDragon Thu 13-Oct-16 17:08:09

But anyway OP -discussing the shitness of the system with some state schools being 'faith' doesn't really help you. I guess what you may need to try to find out is whether the nearer school is on a downwards trajectory and the more distant one on a sustainable upwards one.

SansasEscape Thu 13-Oct-16 17:15:02

Ernest - Because it's not a voluntary club, its compulsory education that impacts the rest of your life.

SoupDragon Thu 13-Oct-16 17:19:01

if a club or whatever is set up e.g. for women, then men start saying they want to join too, women would rightly say the club was set up by them, for them. what's the difference?

Try setting up a club that discriminates on the basis of religion and see how that goes.

meditrina Thu 13-Oct-16 17:25:56

When the state can afford to buy them out, then perhaps they won't exist.

Most secondaries require evidence of the prospective pupil's membership of a religion and level of attendance, not that of the parent.

But yes, these schools have a distinctive ethos.

And the question which is usually unaddressed is whether they are successful because of that ethos. And if so, should the main effort be into making sure all schools are that successful?

I don't know if this still holds good, but RC schools are the most ethnically diverse (large numbers of recent immigrants) and have lower than typical exclusion rates for their demographics.

Harder to quantify for CofE schools, a there are so many they are formative if the norm.

I don't know if there's enough info collated on Jewish, Hindu and Muslim schools.

Ionacat Thu 13-Oct-16 17:37:10

I think I know where you are as I don't think there are many Catholic schools with swimming pools near another school which is consulting on options including a 4-16 school.
If you want advice, I would put a new post with the area in the title as there are a few of us who know the schools round there. As if it is the three schools I'm thinking, then you won't get into the catholic one, the bog standard comp I suspect is having a blip and well worth considering, I wouldn't want the third either but if you are near a bus stop/train station then there are more good options that weren't oversubscribed last year.

Fruitflylady Thu 13-Oct-16 17:39:03

Thanks for the replies so far. I'm not saying I necessarily want my DS to go to this Catholic school, just that I'm cross because government resources have gone to support this exclusive form of education, and it seems to be at the expense of other, mainly poorer families who have no choice but to send their kids to the more under-resourced school just down the road (this was why I mentioned the council estate location, it's not that that was one of my reasons against that school, Pottering)

Fruitflylady Thu 13-Oct-16 17:42:21

Ionacat, you are probably right with where I am and I'll start another thread, but what are the other undersubscribed schools in the area? The only other one I looked at is oversubscribed (Wavell) and I didn't even bother looking at south Farnham...

ErrolTheDragon Thu 13-Oct-16 18:54:50

>And the question which is usually unaddressed is whether they are successful because of that ethos

The question has been addressed - will have to try to hunt out a reference - but broadly the answer seems to be no - there are faith schools all through the league tables from top to bottom; their 'success' correlates to whether in deprived areas, FSM etc but with those deemed good then able to be selective.

Ionacat Thu 13-Oct-16 19:04:18

Wavell went out to 3.22 miles last year. I think Hampshire measure as the crow flies. It might be a long shot. Ash Manor in Ash Vale could be worth looking at. Cove in Farnborough is RI, but I know a couple of teachers there and it is on the up. If you are prepared to drive/train, neither of the Alton schools were oversubscribed last year and they are both good/outstanding.
I would have a good look at Heath End, it has been traditionally a good school, but could be a blip. (An outstanding school near where I work was RI for a few years due to a blip in exam results and immediately went back up to outstanding.)

Orangetoffee Thu 13-Oct-16 19:10:51

Go and look around at the other comp on their open mornings, as Ionacat says their recent ofsted seems a blip.
You won't get into either the catholic or the SF school.

prh47bridge Thu 13-Oct-16 21:05:13

I have no idea whether you are a person of faith or not-but this is just the sort of arrogant, privileged remark that gives Christians a bad name

Why should such a remark from a non-Christian give Christians a bad name? It is, in any case, perfectly reasonable that a parent should consider how much faith content there is in a school as a factor in whether or not to choose that school. Remember that some non-faith schools are actually significantly more religious than some faith schools.

Jemimajem Thu 13-Oct-16 21:34:26

You sound a bit snobby and a very pushy, no offence. The criteria is Catholic then that's what it is. You would not walk into Sainsburys and insist on buying something even though you don't have any.

Jemimajem Thu 13-Oct-16 21:35:15

...even though you don't have any money.

JoJoSM2 Thu 13-Oct-16 23:01:06

I feel for you. I also find it beyond shocking that taxes spent on education discriminate against certain religions or lack thereof. I hope you have luck securing a decent school place somewhere.

ErrolTheDragon Fri 14-Oct-16 08:55:34

Jem - you analogy would work well for a private faith school.

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