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AIBU to wonder why faith schools are seen as superior

(9 Posts)
Tailtwister Fri 12-Oct-12 09:45:24

DS1 is starting school next year and we have had the usual hours (and hours and hours) of conversation with other parents about which school they are applying to. Things are a bit simpler for us as we're in Scotland where the catchment areas are fairly strict with one non-denominational and one faith school in each area.

Without exception, everyone I have spoken to prefers the faith school in their area (whether they are Catholic or not) and is hoping to get a place there.

I'm left wondering, what is it about faith schools which makes them better or perceived to be better than non-faith schools? If it's something tangible, then why aren't non-faith schools doing the same (not counting the religious aspects of course)? I have seen the league tables and yes, in our catchment the faith school does look better on paper.

FredFredGeorge Fri 12-Oct-12 09:53:31

It's just a self fulfilling thing - Parental attitudes, expectations and involvement are one of the biggest drivers for school grades etc. So the parents who believe "good school" is required for "good grades" all try to get them into that school etc.

People have very weird attitudes to schooling.

civilfawlty Fri 12-Oct-12 09:54:03

Stricter? In a good way

Hippymum89 Fri 12-Oct-12 09:57:23

From experience I have noticed the parents of most (not all) kids at 'Faith schools' seem to be yuppies. Theyre the ones who would send their kids to private school but can't afford it.
We've tried both and DD loves her council run school much more, there isn't the parent mafia thing going on.

RillaBlythe Fri 12-Oct-12 09:57:55

Social engineering.

QueenOfMuppets Fri 12-Oct-12 09:59:19

I think it's a bit different up here in Scotland but down south the faith schools are partly funded by the churches which gives them the right to be selective. The selection criteria are faith related so it often comes down to things like whose mum volunteers to do the tea AND put away the hymn books after the service (even more so if you are not catholic or CofE but still want to get into one of their schools). Regular church attendance is generally a minimum criteria. What then tends to happen is that church going is often (but not always) a slightly middle class past time and will usually be done by families who have high moral standards (and 'nice', well disciplined children). This then means that faith schools have their pick from a 'nicer' background who are then more likely to do well a school. Because the local comp can be a totally dire option if you are in the wrong area this makes faith school entry very competitive indeed and perpetuates the problem!!

Sirzy Fri 12-Oct-12 10:01:19

That isn't the case here, the best school by far locally is a community primary (thankfully 2 minutes walk from me so DS should get in)

Quite often it does appear talking to others that the faith schools which are so good are ones which have very close links to the church/local community and benefit from the 2 way benefits of that.

Tailtwister Fri 12-Oct-12 10:01:53

I did wonder that Fred. I've heard people talk about the discipline thing too, but if that is the case then why can't non-faith schools do the same?

It's interesting you should say that Hippy. It does make me wonder how they get in though. Surely they can't all be Catholic?

Tailtwister Fri 12-Oct-12 10:09:41

Sorry, going to have to dash (Great Granny's ill, have to help out), but thanks for all the replies.

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