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to think if we fund religious schools through taxes, DD should be considered for a place?

(366 Posts)
experiencethis Fri 15-Jun-12 22:48:07

I'm not originally from the UK, so maybe I am missing the point here. It puzzles me that whilst some religious schools are (partially) government-funded by taxpayers, they do not treat all as equals when allocating places. Our local state CoE primary is lovely and walking distance from our house. But looking at the local authority's website we'd have to get the local CoE church to validate that we are part of the congregation (which we aren't) and attend service a number of times per quarter (which we don't). DH and I would be happy for DD to attend a religious school, we think exposing her to different faiths and beliefs will make her a well-rounded adult (we have Jewish, Catholics and Buddists in the wider family). She will then be able to decide on any of them or none at all as she pleases. AIBU ?

Gillg57 Fri 15-Jun-12 23:09:49

And if your local CoE school wasn't lovely and a walk away would you still feel your child should have a place there? The point sd, it is a school with a religious base. In this case CoE and it is reasonable to expect children who attend to be of the same faith as is the case with other faith schools. There are many more non-denominational schools to cater for those with no religious inclination. The Diocese and parishes therein will have funded creation of the school in the first place.

bumperella Fri 15-Jun-12 23:11:47

If only PARTIALY government funded, then I don't see your point.
The rest of the funding comes from people who believe that children should be educated in <insert detail here> faith, with others of the same mindset.

littleweed10 Fri 15-Jun-12 23:12:18

I actually like your rationale re the exposure to other faiths

WorraLiberty Fri 15-Jun-12 23:12:57

I think they have to take a certain percentage of non faith kids don't they?

But I agree with Gillg. You may be happy for her to attend a religious school to 'expose' her to different faiths and beliefs (not that it would, if they were all C of E anway) but it's much more about the convenience for you isn't it?

2shoes Fri 15-Jun-12 23:13:48


WorraLiberty Fri 15-Jun-12 23:14:35

Surely going to a non faith school would 'expose' her to loads of different faiths?

I went to a Catholic School where everyone was Catholic as it wasn't state funded.

We didn't even learn much about other was as though they didn't want to tell us about them in case we 'strayed from the flock' grin

GrimmaTheNome Fri 15-Jun-12 23:16:40

The vast majority of the funding comes from the taxpayer.

YANBU, its a ridiculous anachronism. I live in a rural where all the nearest schools are faith of one type or the other and we weren't happy with that (wanting DD exposed to different faiths in a nondom school not predominantly one in a faith school)

GrimmaTheNome Fri 15-Jun-12 23:22:55

>I think they have to take a certain percentage of non faith kids don't they?

depends if its VC or VA. VC are wholly state funded and should have reasonable admissions policies. VA set their own admissions policies - if oversubscribed then those lower down the list of criteria (eg living in the village but not churchgoers) wont get in. Some allocate a percentage to 'other faiths' - absolutely none for 'non faith' kids.

WorraLiberty Fri 15-Jun-12 23:24:25

Oh thanks Grimma, I didn't realise that.

Either way, if the OP wants her child exposed to other faiths...there's no point in choosing a faith school.

EdithWeston Fri 15-Jun-12 23:28:06

CofE VC have wholly community based entrance criteria.

The majority of CofE VA schools have a proportion of places reserved for allocation on community criteria (though it sounds as if OP's is one of the minority who do not).

It all comes down to ownership of property - VA schools' land and property are not owned by the state (full info on ownership is on CofE website). I do not think the present state of Government finances would stand the cost of buying out the Church from its schools.

GrimmaTheNome Fri 15-Jun-12 23:30:18

Quite. In order to choose a non-faith school we had to pay fees as well as our taxes. The state options for us were (a) go to church to get into the lovely village ffaith school or (B) not go to church and she'd get a place in an undersubscribed faith school not within walking distance and maybe not so lovely hmm. Unsuprisingly I have a dim view of the system!

GrimmaTheNome Fri 15-Jun-12 23:34:00

And how does the church come to own land in the first place? By gifts from the state, and by the tithes - ie pretty much universal taxation of past centuries.

EdithWeston Fri 15-Jun-12 23:55:22

Depends on the age of the school. Most are Victorian, and were bought from donations by parishioners (long after tithing, and no state input - predated state involvement in education). Some still have plaques or rolls listing the public subscriptions, and/or particularly generous donors.

MrsTerryPratchett Sat 16-Jun-12 00:00:01

It gets right up my nose too. Angry Atheist

GrimmaTheNome Sat 16-Jun-12 00:07:38

Some of the nonconformist denominations had schools in that era (obv totally non-state funded). They gave them up when the state started universal education - the way my mum told it, for ethical reasons though I suspect it may have been pragmatic too.

ravenAK Sat 16-Jun-12 00:19:07

It's an appalling system.

The key words in the OP are 'local', 'state' & 'funded by taxpayers'.

The religious affiliation & consequent prescriptive teaching of superstition as fact is quite dodgy enough. The exclusion of local children because their parents don't have the right sort of fairies at the bottom of their garden, more so.

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Sat 16-Jun-12 00:24:38

Children are not all treated equally whether one of the admissions criteria is church attendance or not anyway. There is admissions criteria even for schools that are fully funded by the taxpayer, so it is natural that schools that have funding coming form the church have to allow that church to add their own criteria too.

ravenAK Sat 16-Jun-12 00:34:19

I would be quite happy for church funded schools to co-exist independently.

Until they do, & whilst we're all paying for them, I think it's inappropriate for them to cherry-pick families.

Other schools funded by the taxpayer allocate places based on need (looked-after children, SEN, siblings, distance from school). Sensible reasons.

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Sat 16-Jun-12 00:39:18

We are all paying for them, but so is the church, and the churches tend to own the school grounds and buildings too.

Until the governement buys all these grounds and buildings so that they are owned by the state, the church has to be allowed some small say in the admissions criteria.

If the government doesn't buy the land, and churches are forced to give up their rights to their own property, then we may as well live in a dictatorship.

Gillg57 Sat 16-Jun-12 00:42:43

Raven AK - I respect your right to hold your views on religion. I am not overtly religious myself. But your post about fairies is insulting to those with religious beliefs and based on no more factual evidence that religion is a myth than that which says it isn't.

ravenAK Sat 16-Jun-12 01:13:54

It's not a small say, though, Freddoes.

& if you are unfortunate to live in a small village with one CofE primary, you can easily find yourself schlepping your tinies 5 miles to the non-affiliated school in the next village, crossing, on the way, with someone else driving their own small dc to the school in your village which they have bogarted on grounds of parental bums on pews.

As my parents' neighbours have to do. It's silly & it's unfair.

Gillg57 - it's only insulting if you assume that there is something wrong with believing in fairies. How very fairyist of you. I was suggesting it as a viewpoint based on just as much factual evidence as that of any more popular religion.

(& no, religion isn't a definitely exists. There's special buildings, there's jobs, even schools. Oh & lots of money).

Gillg57 Sat 16-Jun-12 01:19:07

Nice to see someone believes in fairies.....

StateofConfusion Sat 16-Jun-12 01:21:06

I had no idea church schools did this, ds attends a c of e, we'd lived here a few weeks when term started I walked in, signed him up and he started the next monday and its a wonderful school, we'd never set foot in the adjoining church, that said, getting dd a place in the nursery has been such a fucking nightmare we've given up and are moving! (One of several reasons)
I do try now and attend church, for the family services but the timing and scheduling is so sporadic I never know when one is to the next its all 'advertised' through word of mouth sad

ravenAK Sat 16-Jun-12 01:22:25

<nods> Clapping hands vigorously to keep Tinkerbell alive as we speak wink.

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