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Faith Schools - state funding

(183 Posts)
pearlym Sun 25-Sep-11 12:06:40

am I being unreasonable to think that it is unfair that faith schools get 85% plus funding frmo the state but that they are effectively closed to children not of their faith?

CogitoErgoSometimes Sun 25-Sep-11 12:10:15

YANBU. It's a glaring anomaly. State funding should mean universal access.

Kayano Sun 25-Sep-11 12:10:30

Are they though? I went to a catholic school and 25% of pupil intake were not catholic. There were a high number of Muslim students and we were taught about all religions but with a focus on Christianity.

Tbh most o the Catholic students were only baptised so they could get into the school anyway and didn't actually believe

We all got a good education though

Iggly Sun 25-Sep-11 12:11:42


Although why are faith school better performing?

troisgarcons Sun 25-Sep-11 12:12:33

State schools have to take non faith pupils, 12.5% in this borough. And the Catholic secondary (out of borough) I'm toying with takes 30% non-faith.

TBH you can argue this every which way you like - why should the best school in the area be closed to my son because it is a girls school???? Surely thats sex discrimination?

pootlebug Sun 25-Sep-11 12:13:02

It depends where you live as to whether they are like this. But yes, around here they are. There are 17 out of 64 faith schools in my London borough. The vast majority select ONLY on faith (unless they run out of churchgoers). One or two reserve a minority of places for non-faith applicants.

It is appalling and I cannot see any justification for it at all.

Abra1d Sun 25-Sep-11 12:14:13

That sweeping statement is not correct, OP.

Many faith schools take children from ALL faiths. Our local Catholic comprehensive has Muslim children, quite a lot. Some are the children of Asian shopkeepers who wanted their children to go to the school because they had noted that the pupils were less likely to shoplift than pupils from the other comprehensives nearby.

The village Church of England school near my home took my Roman Catholic children, plus some Jewish and Muslim children.

pearlym Sun 25-Sep-11 12:16:18

I note thta they will often take 10 5 or so of non believers, but they are not having just 10% of state funding. It just seemsto me that it is a way for certain religions to have what is almost a private school with the state paying 85% plus of the costs.

pearlym Sun 25-Sep-11 12:19:07

Abra1d - if you look at a lot of the admissions codes, you will see that often children of other faiths are in the last category, so will only get a place if there are any left. In most London boroughs, this means that there will only be places left if the school is unpopular. In reality therefore, most faith schools whihc are any good are attended in the main, or solely by children of that faith, yet paid for by the whole community. I do not understand why it is OK for people of a certain faith to who may live next door to me, to have a wider choice of school than my children.

Interested to see what people have to say?

TidyDancer Sun 25-Sep-11 12:24:10

I don't like the idea of faith schools full stop. So if that stat is correct, YAcertainlyNBU!

meditrina Sun 25-Sep-11 12:25:52

The majority of CofE schools have community places and some have no faith places at all. But other faiths, and some CofE schools, do prioritise faith places more than that.

It's not a system anyone would create now, but it's the system we have because of the history of state schooling. I do not think we can currently afford to buy out the older schools which own their land and the buildings.

pearlym Sun 25-Sep-11 12:26:40

I am interseted to see that the majority of people on this post appear not to like faith schools - what I want to know is why are there so many of them and why is there no movement against them? Often see criticism of "sharp elbowed middle classes" who move into catchment areas etc, but not often see criticism of faith schools which in reality exclude local kids of the "wrong" or no religion

Abra1d Sun 25-Sep-11 12:27:32

It is often a far higher a figure than that, pearlym. It certainly is in our C o E school. There is no cap on non Anglicans at all.

And if you think the majority of faith schools, outside a small area of London, are anything at all like private schools you are mistaken. Our C o E has had traveller children, children with profound SN, children with great social needs, etc.

meditrina Sun 25-Sep-11 12:35:17

About 25% of primary/middle state schools are CofE, and about 7% of secondaries. They are a major provider. Within that, there is big variation of type of school - not just in terms of number of non-faith places (which varies from 0-100%), but also in affluence. Taken nationally, the proportion of FSM in CofE schools is in line with the national average (c30%), though of course some will have many more of fewer such pupils. RC schools aren't that different, and because it's an international church, they are a shade more diverse than the national average.

giveitago Sun 25-Sep-11 12:45:41

Pearl - with you 100% on this.

I keep hearing that faith schools take in loads of the non faithful or other faithful but it seems to me they are in less densley populated areas.

I'm in London and in a very densly populated borough. I know for a fact (and have been told) that unless ds baptised a catholic in his first year of life - forget it. In fact, I have also heard that the fact that he has a catholic dad but is not baptised he stands even less of a chance than any other faith person or non faith person getting in. That's discrimination.

I don't particularly need him to have catholic education but I need him to have A education and I'm not in the catchment area for any non selective school. I'd like him to continue his education in the area in which we live as I beleive in community.

I'm not against religion. What I'm against is the increasing reality that many of us are at the bottom of the list for an increasing number of schools in our area due to birth and culture.

It's unfair, divisive and goes against the grain of a so-called multicultural society. I dispair that I'll either have to fork out and move (no money) or rent out my place and rent somewhere else, or pay for private (no money) to get him an education in our area. Baptism etc is way too late for ds and I wouldn't entertain the idea just to get into a school anyhow. Now we have the free school scenario I feel it will get worse if I just sit here and do nothing. Seems to me the only way to get my ds an education without moving or without pretending he's a certain religion and therefore culture is to start my own bloody free school that suits my ds, the parents of a few other people and not many of the other people in my area and add to the cyle of divisiveness.

Anyone else think that the English education system is baffling and rather pathetic for a so called world leading country.

giveitago Sun 25-Sep-11 12:47:02

Oh I think it's hilarious that mnetters bleat on about being so multicultural and deride anyone outside of that scene yet go amazingly quiet on the issue of faith schools and people with either no faith or the wrong faith.

Tryharder Sun 25-Sep-11 12:57:21

As GiveItAGo says.

It is massively unfair. I live in a town with 3 excellent secondary schools none of which will accept my DCs (when the time comes) because we a) do not live in a £million house on the right estate and do not attend a church of any denomination.

And yet, children are being bussed in from OTHER COUNTIES to attend these schools. It is so fucking unfair. I would love someone to take this to judicial review.

giveitago Sun 25-Sep-11 12:58:59

As giveitago says - but not spells - I just read my own post!

Zimm Sun 25-Sep-11 13:03:17

100% with you OP. It makes me so angry I can't see straight and when the time comes for DD to start school as I will actively campaigning against her being denied admission to the best school just because we are atheists.

giveitago Sun 25-Sep-11 13:11:52

But zim - it's not just atheists - it's loads of families including ours. We have three faiths in my family and for that reason I've never committed ds on paper to any of them just as parents never did that for me.

I think the british multicultural tradition (in its true form) is to introduce your kids to all it's cultures (and that does mean faiths in the majority of cases) and they can just go with the flow and find something they like or not. But it's all part of their heritage. That's what it used to be like in my day. Now - it's just you kid has to be this or that and it's all diverse from other people. That's not how I was brought up and I don't recognise what's going on these days.

Plus, although I'm not religious, I think the very sneery parts of the atheist voice that's all over the media these days does not help.

For me it's not about faith (although I think that faith schools do encourage segregation) but more about education for all of our kids and ensuring that each kid can have a halfway decent education in their area (as their area will encourage enduring friendships and hence community for kids and parents alike) .

So that means not just having grammars (which at least everyone can have a shot at) and faith schools. It means not getting kids from way outside the area to come to schools on my doorstep (and that's their parents' choice) and not contributing culturally to our area and then which means I have to ship my kid way out of the area against my wishes and possibly economic means to accommodate the intake of faith schools kids.

hocuspontas Sun 25-Sep-11 13:12:34

Obviously all areas are different and it depends on the popularity of the school. If the school is not overly popular then the criteria will be distance, if the school IS popular then the criteria will be faith then distance. So with a popular school, non-practising applicants won't get a look in. With the state funding issue, remember that Christians etc pay taxes as well! But I agree that the state funding of the school should be less if a large proportion of children are out of area.

Annpan88 Sun 25-Sep-11 13:12:57

I think it depends on area. The catholic school I went to was 50/50 catholic/non-catholic. Many private schools receive state funding. Some parents just want their values to be taught to their kids at school. I probably wouldn't send mine to catholic school but it doesn't bother me that people who do receive state funding. I guess it would be interesting to find out if the schools would be as good if they weren't catholic.

Flisspaps Sun 25-Sep-11 13:14:12

The Catholic school I worked in was about 50% RC, 50% other faiths/no faiths.

AKMD Sun 25-Sep-11 13:27:43

YANBU. I am very religious but the 'wrong' shade of Christianity so have expectations of DS getting into any faith-based school. It does make me cross when I think about it but I get crosser with people who send their DC to a faith-based school and then come on MN and whinge that their children are being 'preached' to hmm. I think faith schools give a very positive contribution to the communities they're based in but, considering how many hypocrites baptise their infants just to get a place at the 'right' school, I do wish that they would have less than 50% of their places allocated on faith-based criteria.

AKMD Sun 25-Sep-11 13:28:23

hve no* expectations

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