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To send my children to Catholic school when we're not?

(145 Posts)
JohnCusacksWife Wed 22-Jan-14 22:29:54

We are not religious and our DDs currently go to the local non-denominational primary school. Our village is in the catchment area for 2 secondary schools - a not very good non-denominational school in the neighbouring local authority and a very good RC school in our own local authority area. There is also a good non-denominational school in our area but we're not in the catchment for that and would have to make a placing request, which would probably be granted, but that would mean we'd have to make our own travel arrangements.

In the next year we'll have to decide which school our girls will go to and I'm leaning towards the RC school although they would obv not participate in any masses etc. Would IBU to send my girls to a school which happens to be RC just because its the best when (a) we don't believe and (b) I have a general problem with educating different religions separately?

Just to be clear we wouldn't be bending any rules if we chose that it's in our catchment area it's technically open to all children in the area.

yonisareforever Wed 22-Jan-14 22:33:18

what do you mean not particpate in teh mass....they sit there and sing hymsn

NigellasDealer Wed 22-Jan-14 22:33:19

well you could apply but you would be bottom priority and highly unlikely to get a place.
also if you have a general problem with educating different religions separately why on earth would you consider it?

Alambil Wed 22-Jan-14 22:33:26

on account that it would make you a complete hypocrite, YABU

I went to a Catholic secondary school; Mass isn't the only religious element; it is intrinsic to the very core of the school's functioning and morals. It won't be as simple as "don't go to Mass" for your children.

I'll also be amazed if they got in; Catholic schools usually require a letter from the priest etc to support applications.

BratinghamPalace Wed 22-Jan-14 22:37:02

Mine go to RC school. I am frequently taken by surprise by the religious content of their conversations. The latest was Eve tempting poor Adam. Quite hardcore. It is a lot to swallow for a good education! And I am RC. So, let us know how that works out for you?!! ( the manic laughing face).

RandyRudolf Wed 22-Jan-14 22:37:17

YABU and selfish by taking up places to fit in with your travel arrangements when it could be given to pupils who practice the religion.

JohnCusacksWife Wed 22-Jan-14 22:37:26

Catholic schools here do not require your to be RC....many Muslims attend them. I just want them to go to the best school in our catchment and they have the right to attend this particular school. I just wonder at what point does an RC school stop being an RC school if lots of non-RC kids go there?

FoxOff Wed 22-Jan-14 22:37:30

I know a few non-RC families whose kids go to RC schools cos those schools are the best in the area. There are no religious conflicts, the education is great and the kids are as happy as pigs in chiffon.

grovel Wed 22-Jan-14 22:40:08


NigellasDealer Wed 22-Jan-14 22:40:59

JCW are you in one of those odd places that never left the 'old religion' then?
many children who attend the Catholic school near where we used to live might be assumed to be Muslim but in fact are mostly Coptic Christians with parents from the Sudan.

Blackcathaireverywhere Wed 22-Jan-14 22:44:23

YANBU at all. I also disagree with religious schools and to me it makes sense to just pick the school that best suits you and ignore the religious aspects of it. I don't think it makes you a hypocrite at are picking the best school for your children...weighing up pros and cons just like anyone else.

morethanpotatoprints Wed 22-Jan-14 22:44:33

I don't think YABU but our experience wasn't good with our ds2, however must admit had it been ds1 instead I'm sure he'd have been ok.
I don't think it suits all dc and there is a certain regime attached that I think/presume is typical of Catholic schools.
We didn't choose, moreover agreed as there was no other school locally who could take him when we moved here. Ds1 went to the community school next door as there was a place in his year but not ds2. it was reverse for ds1 iyswim.
Anyway, he never settled and was the wrong type of character, we moved him as soon as we could, he felt so out of place as the other dc were well into the church and mixed a lot outside school. He was an outsider.
The school was very popular, lovely, fantastic results, outstanding and parents fought long and hard to get their dc into the school, lots of people were envious, but it didn't suit, simple as that.

Mim78 Wed 22-Jan-14 22:44:45

Some catholic school don't let you opt out of bits Ime. Also you may not want them standing out as the kids who don't go to mass etc.

JohnCusacksWife Wed 22-Jan-14 22:44:47

Nigella, what's the "old religion"? The students I was referring to are def. Muslim. It's not uncommon here for Muslim pupils to attend RC schools as (i've been told) they are viewed by the Muslim community as more moral than non-denominational schools.

BratinghamPalace Wed 22-Jan-14 22:45:11

I can tell you very clearly that an RC school never stops being an RC school. That would be like asking you, as a non religious person, if you start to believe in a God because you are hanging out with people who do believe in a God.

NigellasDealer Wed 22-Jan-14 22:47:09

the 'old religion' is RC of course!
there are places like Preston and the Ribble Valley that just stayed RC throughout the reformation due to geography, influential supporters etc., sorry off on a tangent, it is one my little interests at the moment grin

JohnCusacksWife Wed 22-Jan-14 22:47:41

I'm not too worried about them being obviously different. As I said there are already a number of Muslim pupils and this year at least 1/4 of the kids from our non-denom school are going there so if that's replicated next year they won't be alone.

MrsTerryPratchett Wed 22-Jan-14 22:48:35

Well, since our government doesn't believe in separation of Church and State and the only way you could have a religion free education is to home school or start an atheist free school so tempted I say fill your boots. Broadly Christian worship is a requirement in state schools anyway, unfortunately.

squoosh Wed 22-Jan-14 22:49:25

There's a Catholic girls secondary near me and a it has a fair amount of Muslim pupils. I think a lot of the Muslim families like the single sex aspect.

JohnCusacksWife Wed 22-Jan-14 22:50:37

But Bratingham if more and more non-RC kids attend the school surely that must have an impact....I think that's what I feel a bit guilty about (although since I disagree with separate education for different religions I don't know WHY I feel guilty... i'm conflicted!) But at the same time I just want my kids to go to the best school they can, legitimately.

Salmotrutta Wed 22-Jan-14 22:50:42

Catholic schools up here have a "mission statement" that they take pupils of all faiths and none so I don't see the problem.

Mind you, if you wish to benefit from the good education you feel this school will offer I suggest you at least familiarise yourself with the ethos.

Your child can surely attend mass but just not take communion?

I used to teach in a Catholic school - I'm atheist and it was not a problem - the pastoral care was excellent.

whitepuddingsupper Wed 22-Jan-14 22:51:00

I went to catholic schools and there were a few non catholic children. IIRC the non catholics did not take part in sacrament preparation but all children were expected to attend masses and daily prayers, if this would be an issue for you I would think again.

ComposHat Wed 22-Jan-14 22:51:39

Nigella a former boss of mine used to work as a social worker in Preston during the 70s and 80s and during that time something like 1 in 4 adults in Preston was a practising Catholic.

He'd be out on a Saturday night seeing blokes belt down 10 pints and knock the shite out of each other, but would turn up to the same church the next morning with black eyes and swollen noses.

foreverondiet Wed 22-Jan-14 22:52:14

I think its fine if its a good school, provided not all the other kids are RC and you wouldn't mind if they did want to do mass or become RC. Just talk about at home that many of the families in the school are RC and that you respect their views but don't have to believe them.

eightandthreequarters Wed 22-Jan-14 22:52:48

YANBU. It is a state-funded school, and IMO should take all comers. Just make sure it really would be a better school for your DC.

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