Job interview at a Catholic school

(13 Posts)
RiskManagement Thu 14-May-15 15:18:14

It's the Bursar role at a fairly ordinary comp, in terms of results. Really the standard catchment school in terms of pupils, people going out of their way to get DC into a church school would choose the one in the next (much posher) town.

However, it is a Catholic school and I'm not Catholic. What do I need to know both in terms of the interview and working there, should I be successful?

Should I expect to be asked about my beliefs?

OfflineFor40Years Thu 14-May-15 18:05:07

I'm a bursar at a C of E school. The main difference in the nature of the school that affects my job is the way the school is funded (contributions to capital spend come from the Church rather than the LEA).

I think they asked me about how I felt about the Christian nature of the school and I gave a woolly but broadly positive answer. On a day to day basis I'm not in the religious side, though our Finance Meetings often start with a prayer (during which I focus on my calculator grin ).

RiskManagement Thu 14-May-15 19:17:25

Thanks Offline. I know CofE schools are funded differently but I believe that, weirdly, Catholic Schools are just the same as any other state school as far as finances are concerned.

I can answer questions about Christianity positively. I was brought up Methodist and whilst I can't believe it all completely literally, I do have some (wavering) faith. I can see the value of religion and the positive things faith brings for those who have it. It might be the same Bible but Catholic and Methodists couldn't really be much further apart though!

esiotrot2015 Thu 14-May-15 19:21:23

Tbh I don't think they're allowed to ask about your beliefs

RiskManagement Thu 14-May-15 19:32:20

I know they're not in a "normal" job interview but I think church schools are allowed to make sure you're going to support the ethos of the school. I'm almost sure they're also allowed to positively discriminate too.

TummyButtonFluff Thu 14-May-15 19:37:19

We aren't catholic but looked around a few catholic schools for our DC - turns out most of the other children weren't catholic either. Just prepare a diplomatic answer.

ChillySundays Thu 14-May-15 19:59:17

If religion was an issue then the advert should have said preference will be given to practising catholics (an absolute must for a head).

I doubt the position of bursar will be subject to this but they will be concerned about your attitude to the school's ethos. They won't want you burning the cross in the playground at break time.

As tummy said have some diplomatic phrases up your sleeve

Maidupmum Thu 14-May-15 20:15:04

You need to understand that DFC will come via the Archdiocese not via the LA. All building works will have to be approved by (and possibly tendered through) the Archdiocese.
The Archdiocese will add a layer of bureaucracy to everything you do and all decisions will be made via Rome - therefore very slowly
Be sympathetic to the ethos & understanding that it is different to working in a maintained school.
Also, the same amount of funds should be allocated to RE as are allocated to other core subjects this never happens in reality but the Archdiocese are obsessed by it
Can you tell it drives me mad?

ValancyJane Thu 14-May-15 20:16:49

I used to work in a Catholic School (but as a teacher), at interview I got asked a question about upholding the Catholic ethos of the school, and I just talked about embedding values of tolerance, respect, supporting others etc.

StampyShortnose Thu 14-May-15 20:18:17

Experience of recruiting for staff in faith schools here!

We never asked about religion unless it was a 'genuine occupational requirement'. This requirement would have to be stated in the job ad and would not be a requirement for a burser.

I did used to ask how candidates have demonstrated the values of the school in previous roles. The values are usually found somewhere in the job pack or on the school website, things like commitment, respect for others and faith etc.

StampyShortnose Thu 14-May-15 20:19:37

*oops, respect for faith of others.

Would never ask about a burser's faith obviously!

guilianna Thu 14-May-15 20:36:17

same, Valancy. HT really respected Methodists for their theological knowledge, too (I'm not, but she had me pegged as one for a while as she couldn't quite get her head round an informed agnostic) good luck OP!

Komnu Fri 15-May-15 08:45:03

I worked in a faith school (as a teacher) and was not asked about my personal beliefs at interview, but I was asked what I knew about the particular faith of the school. I gave the overview I'd researched in advanced, and then said that although I wasn't a religious person myself I respected the faith and the school's ethos and felt able to work in that way. I was also able to give an example where I'd done something similar in the past.

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