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Church of England schools

(38 Posts)
ADayGivingMeHope Fri 19-May-17 19:40:37

Sorry it's not an AIBU,
Just hoping for some replies here!

Does a school being a C of E school make a difference these days to how the school is run?

Thank-you.

Teatimebear Fri 19-May-17 19:43:53

Yes, of course it does.

They can teach Christianity as if it's true, are very selective in their intake (multiple studies have shown they select for more middle-class children not just more CofE ones) and contribute to increasing racial segregation in our education system.

ADayGivingMeHope Fri 19-May-17 19:46:37

Gosh really.
I'll have to do some more research into it, it seems most of the schools around us are C of E 😯

Saucery Fri 19-May-17 19:48:36

I would research the individual schools around you, and visit them to get a feel for the place, rather than take it as gospel that they are all highly selective havens of the middle class.

worlybear Fri 19-May-17 19:50:39

I worked in a church school and it was awful.
The head was a zealot with not one ounce of compassion and full of hypocrisy.
The kids and staff were scared of him.
The nearer to church the further from God .
The community primary my daughter attended was infinitely better.

Saucery Fri 19-May-17 19:51:11

Many, while teaching We/Christians Believe, do not promote 'Christianity as being true', whatever that means. They follow the C of E faith, have ties to the local church (loose or close, it depends) and ime have a multicultural and often multifaith intake.

pussinwellyboots Fri 19-May-17 19:51:42

The C of E church school my kids attend is a true community school and has children of many different faiths and is the most diverse in terms of intake in our local area ( many middle class parents drive out to the more middle class village schools whereas this school is in the middle of a large estate with a large amount of social housing). Every school is different so it would be worth having a look around several and asking them before you decide.

spanieleyes Fri 19-May-17 19:52:32

Which is definitely NOT the case in my school, faith criteria comes fifth on the admissions policy and the intake is NOT middle class at all!!

MrsBadger Fri 19-May-17 19:52:46

Same as pussinwellyboots.

namechangedtoday15 Fri 19-May-17 19:52:52

You'll hear all sorts of rubbish trotted out in answer to that question. There is no "one size fits all" whether you're taking about C of E, Jewish, Catholic, state, whatever schools. Have a look at the schools which are options in your particular area, speak to parents with children there and make your own mind up.

CricketRuntAndRashers Fri 19-May-17 19:56:06

Can't be worse than the kind of school I went to.

I'm not going to mention the kind here, just... I think my post may be deleted? Idk. Sorry.

Saucery Fri 19-May-17 19:56:19

Here's my anecdata then. Small C of E school, area of quite high social deprivation, mixed intake of social classes, Church involvement very hands off. Major Christian celebrations took place in Church but bit of a palaver to get whole school there as half a mile away, so Vicar came in for an assembly once a week as well as representing the Church on the Governing Body. Faith underpinned the ethos of the school but wasn't hellfire and brimstone, just basic Christian values of kindness and tolerance.
Other nearby C of E school a bit more traditional, with a Vicar who said Trick Or Treating was forbidden or you may lose your place in the school. I wouldn't have sent dc there, but neither would I have attended his Church.

Trb17 Fri 19-May-17 19:58:39

DD goes to CofE primary and it's not at all like some described above.

Religion is part of day to day things but not forced or OTT. School has children of various faiths. School is caring and kids come mostly from poorer families.

It's not run in the most efficient way but it's certainly been a good school for DD. She's been very happy and we aren't church goers ourselves.

Don't taunt all CofE schools with same brush. Some are lovely. Go see them for yourself and get a feel for each one. You might be pleasantly surprised.

DrMadelineMaxwell Fri 19-May-17 20:00:04

I teach at a C of E school.

Selection based on faith is waaaay down the list, but is there. The majority of our children are not christened, don't go to church etc. We are just the local primary for them. We have children of many faiths too. And a small % who have travelled out of catchment that come because we are a church school. None of our parents have ever requested their child be removed from worship but then they come knowing we are a church school.

We are run slightly differently. The vast majority of our funds come from the local authority as usual. Occasionally, the church will fund part of a project, like our extension. Which was funded 5% by the diocese. Our school does not fund the church in any way.
A member of the diocese was on the selection panel for our headteacher's interview and the headteacher had more leeway over appointments until recently.

We have a different curriculum for RE. It's still broadly Christian in nature, probably more Christian than your average primary school. We are inspected separately for RE. All schools have to have a collective worship of broadly Christian theme, ours probably leans more towards Christianity than a non church school might, but is not only Christian in nature.

We sing traditional hymns and more modern songs. As does my child's non-church primary.
We have assemblies daily, including the vicar coming once a week. As does my child's non-church primary.

We've been more and less 'churchy' depending on our SMT. At one point (a long time ago) our headteacher was a vicar.

DarkFloodRises Fri 19-May-17 20:00:29

My DC go to a CofE school as it's the local school. Christianity ranks fifth on the list of admissions criteria (after siblings, distance, etc etc) and is very rarely called into use. Children of all faiths attend the school. They are taught about all religions in RE, but with a weighting towards Christianity. There is a KS1 nativity play at Christmas.

It's a lovely school and my DC are very happy there.

Saucery Fri 19-May-17 20:01:51

I went to one with the Church right next door. It was like an extra classroom, we seemed to be in there so often! Not just for services, but assemblies, music lessons and brass rubbing. Yet still I am an atheist with doubts 😄

MyOtherProfile Fri 19-May-17 20:02:13

I don't recognise the type of school the first few posters describe. Our village school is C of E and isn't selective except by catchment. It's a great community school and while it does teach Christianity and have assemblies by the local vicar it also teaches other religions and a general respect for faith.

Sunshinesuperman Fri 19-May-17 20:02:53

All of the village schools round where I am are c of e, my DC go to one and I know DC who go to others. They are small well run schools, there is God but it isn't too pushy and my kids are non believers and this is no issue. If you had one in mind for your DC you should go and see it. I would recommend our school to anyone and they have several different faiths attending.

WhiteCaribou Fri 19-May-17 20:06:15

I work in a C of E school. We are a small village school near the church. Our admissions policy doesn't mention religion in its criteria at all. We have a low key worship every morning and go to the local church for eg Easter, Christmas worship. We have children of different nationalities and races with no problems and are a kind and caring community. We don't ram religion down the children's throats, we have a "value" every term such as 'friendship' or 'bravery' and do work around that with the odd bible story used in illustration but once again fairly low key.

If you're looking at schools you really need to go on a visit, look round, talk to the head, ask questions, get a feel for the place.

TapStepBallChange Fri 19-May-17 20:06:20

DD goes to the village school which is a C of E school, I'm not sure faith criteria are even on the entry criteria, if they are they are a long way down. Just went to a non CofE school before we moved and to be honest they don't feel very different. Assembly is Christian based, church visits for harvest festival, Xmas and Easter. Otherwise they learn about other religions, it seems inclusive. The vicar visits from time to time, but that almost seems to be because of the community links. I was wary before she started and did ask about their views on Christianity, to check it was of the fire and brimstone and everything is a sin variety. I think you need to look at the school.

StarOnTheTree Fri 19-May-17 20:06:40

My DD (10) goes to a C of E school, very small school in a socially deprived area. Generally only DC in catchment go there. Not overly zealous at all, more about Christian values than religion. Church is next door so regular services there.

DD still doesn't believe in God grin

SensitiveSoinSo Fri 19-May-17 20:06:49

We have moved house a few times across the UK.
3 CofE schools one non church school. Not much difference in our experience between the church schools and non church school day to day.
CofEs had church involvement at Christmas and Easter. Ramadam and Eid were also part of the school life with many children from a variety of cultures.
2 of CofE schools had a hymn like - Morning Has Broken and All things Bright abd Beautiful once or twice a week. Not all assemblys had hymns. Assemblys were topic based. Some religious about ALL religionsothers on anything from healthy esting to stranger danger etc.
Im not religious but was gkad my kuds had some christian input at Christian times like Easter and Xmas. That said they also had other relgious leaders come in too for other relgious festivals.
I think you woukd have to be a bit odd to have taken offence at any of the CofE schools my kids attended. Perhaps if yiu were a devout chrustusn you coukd be dissapointed at the sparse church involvement/influence!

NaiceBiscuits Fri 19-May-17 20:09:47

Not all are middle class. Not all are white majority. I suppose they do tend to be more white simply because some schools give priority to those who attend the local CofE church...and statistically CofE churches are under-represented by people from ethnic minorities. The CofE would like that to change.

Understandably, the schools do assume that God exists, and that comes through in assemblies, RE etc. If you feel uncomfortable with that, it's probably not wise to send your child to a CofE school. Having said that, children can opt out of religious assemblies (with parental consent) as they can in other schools.

Imstickingwiththisone Fri 19-May-17 20:09:59

I've grown up with all local primaries being a faith, a few Catholic but mainly c of e. I didn't know there was any non faith primaries i thought that was just with secondary comprehensives.

Ime the level of religious education varies from school to school. My DCs current school teaches about Christian values and has introduced Jesus which isn't something we believe in. It's still an abstract concept like a fairy tale at the moment and intend to just tell my DC that some people believe and some don't and let DC decide. There's no fear of brainwashing smile

The school is very good and has a brilliant community spirit.

bigbluebus Fri 19-May-17 20:12:41

All the Primary Schools in this area are CofE. Selection is by catchment area only. My DS went to the village CofE school and although the vicar came in to assembly once a week and they had Easter and Christmas services in the church next door the rest of the teaching was just like any other Primary school.

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