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To not want my child christened just for education?

(72 Posts)
segc94 Tue 22-Aug-17 04:45:55

I'm not catholic or Church of England. I'm not religious at all.. have more beliefs in Buddhist teachings than anything.
So I don't see why I would get my DD christened into a religion I have no beliefs for?
However I'm feeling pressured off my mum to "do it just so she'll get into a better school", which I feel would be hypocritical on my behalf. Also a bit disrespectful towards the religion...
My DD is only 3 weeks old but I feel like this is going to cause a lot of arguments nearer the time. I've always said I'll let my daughter choose her own beliefs but feel like I'm going back on this if I get her christened.

LellyMcKelly Tue 22-Aug-17 05:23:18

Your baby, your rules. I'd cut off discussion about it now. Just tell your mum, "It's not happening", and keep repeating it. There is no need to defend or explain your decision.

MrsNai Tue 22-Aug-17 05:34:05

YANBU as it is hypocritical and offensive to have a child Christened into a faith you do not believe in.

Toomanycats99 Tue 22-Aug-17 05:39:43

To be honest just getting her christened wouldn't get her into a school anyway. In my area you would actually need to be attending church regularly.

Flatpeaches Tue 22-Aug-17 05:45:08

YANBU a catholic school does not automatically mean it's a better school. Has your mum read the latest ofstead report for that school and your other local schools.?Has she gone to visit them? Also a lot can change in a school in 3 1/2 yrs.

coriliavijvaad Tue 22-Aug-17 05:45:42

Yanbu and tbh it's unlikely to make a difference anyway. I don't know of any CofE schools that differentiate on whether a child was baptised as a baby - it's all about church attendance in the years immediately before the application. I think some Catholic schools have criteria which place children baptised into other Christian denominations ahead of unbaptised children but that is very low down the pecking order after all Catholic applicants whether practicing or lapsed, in catchment or out of catchment.

That said if it actually would make a difference and the two nearest schools to you are one where being sprinkled with water as a baby is all that is required to be sure of a place and one who choose is terrible where the unsprinkled will go, then it does no harm.

It is ridiculous to think that bringing up a child with no religion 'so that they can make up their own mind' is any less of an influence on the child's future than bringing them up with some involvement in a religion. There is no such thing as cultural neutrality. Not saying there is anything wrong with bringing up a child as atheist or agnostic but you are still making the choice on behalf of the child just as much as the parents of faith do.

sashh Tue 22-Aug-17 05:55:52

* don't know of any CofE schools that differentiate on whether a child was baptised as a baby - it's all about church attendance*

RC schools often do these days, strangely the 'baptism before 6 months' rules came in at about the same time as mass immigration from Eastern Europe, where it is common to Baptise at 12 months.

Added to that if you are from Poland and want to take your child 'home' to be baptised int he same church you and your parents attended then it takes time to get a passport, organise flights (very young children are often not allowed to fly) etc.

Do you want your child to attend a school that changes the rules to favour a child whose family speak English as a first language and get their child babptised early over a family who have attended mass every Sunday for decades?

TestTubeTeen Tue 22-Aug-17 06:01:28

The Faith schools might not even be better in your area.

And as a PP said, for over subscribed faith schools they usually require a set level of attendance, often 2or 3 Sundays a month in the 2 years prior to application. They keep a register.

If the faith school isn't over subscribed you can get a place without religious observance, if you fulfill other criteria, live near enough or whatever.

ChocolateRicecake Tue 22-Aug-17 06:18:54

You are entirely right and your mum IBU. Any chance she's using it as an angle for a christening that she thinks should happen for religious reasons? I'd be sympathetic towards that, but it's still wrong.

If a school is religious enough to have church attendance/baptism in entry requirements, then I wouldn't want my child attending anyway.

Kannet Tue 22-Aug-17 06:24:50

I hate that people baptise babies to "get them into better schools". Religion has no place in schools and if everyone stopped doing it, religious schools would go away eventually. I hope it's religion in schools is something that my grandchildren look back on and laugh

RockyTop Tue 22-Aug-17 07:03:32

Our local (oversubscribed) school is CofE, and religion takes precedence over catchment area. Being christened isn't enough though, regular church attendance and a letter from a vicar is needed to 'claim' that criteria. It does annoy me, the school is only a couple of minutes walk away from our house but there's a good chance DS won't get in as it's so popular.

Slowcookerheaven Tue 22-Aug-17 07:04:43

Welcome to religious privilege in the uk in 2017.

Figgygal Tue 22-Aug-17 07:06:28

Agreed don't do it if you don't believe it's meaningless. Our local CoE schools are all about attendance too nothing to do with whether christened or not

I don't understand why people christen their children these days if they don't worship it seems to have become an excuse for a party rather than belief.

segc94 Tue 22-Aug-17 07:10:26

Supposedly faith schools are 'by far' the better schools in my area.. i haven't yet looked into ofsted reports of all the schools in my area yet. (Not felt the need)
I do agree, a lot can change in 2/3 years in a school. And I also agree that just because it's a faith school it shouldn't automatically mean it's a better school.
The whole situation is stressing me out; my mum is a very 'I know best' kind of woman and will make you feel bad if you're going against what she thinks is right.
Also, I do not think it's ridiculous that I'm raising my child with no faith... it'd be more ridiculous for me to raise them to believe in a faith I don't believe in? What I mean by them making there own decision is if they decide at 5/10/15 years old they want to be catholic, Muslim, Sikh, Buddhist whatever I will obviously accept there views and beliefs and encourage it.

Alicetherabbit Tue 22-Aug-17 07:15:39

Depends on your area, some house we lookked into buying had lots of over subscribed schools, and basically you had to go to a faith school or go 3-5 miles away. People were shocked that I wouldn't put in the effort of going to church weekly to get child into good school. No it's just I don't want to be hypocritical. Our plan is to go to church when she's old enough to understand, I was bought up thinking everyone who wasn't Catholic was in the wrong.

KERALA1 Tue 22-Aug-17 07:17:07

Agree with Kennet the system is utterly ridiculous that children of religious parents benefit because historically the church supported schooling - pretty much all state funded now - but the religious privelege thing is a hangover from that. Manifestly unfair.

I wouldn't judge or condemn anyone that plays the system tbh as the system so so wrong. Get her christened in faith with best school to keep your options open.

Sierra259 Tue 22-Aug-17 07:19:17

YANBU. Don't be pressured into something that doesn't feel right for you. I'm another one who doesn't really understand why people get their children christened if they're not going to continue to actively practice the religion with them - apart from, as another poster suggested, an excuse for a party and presents (that is not aimed at you OP!).

If the faith schools local to you are good and therefore probably oversubscribed, they will usually use regular attendance at church as part of their selection criteria anyway.

diamond49 Tue 22-Aug-17 07:19:20

I would. Do nor underestimate the importance of school choice especially at secondary level
You do not have to send your DC to the Catholic school when the time comes but at least you have that option. There is no point needlesssly closing doors for your child

StillDrivingMeBonkers Tue 22-Aug-17 07:22:59

Better schools tend to have better parents in common (note the use of italics), that is parents who micro manage, keep on top of homework, clubs, activities, are social movers and relatively affluent and invest in their children, be it sport, music , other extra curricular activities. In other words middle class.

Very rarely do you see sink estate school come top of the league tables, people from lower socio-economic backgrounds traditionally have no aspirations and do not value education in the same way. (note use of italics, it implies some, not all)

It does always make me chuckle, I could give you a lot of anecdotal stories of acquaintances who profess to be socialists/atheists/equal opportunists and espouse the comprehensive way but when it comes to their own off spring, they're the first to be knocking on grammar/faith/single sex school doors!

WhenSheWasBadSheWasHorrid Tue 22-Aug-17 07:24:45

Sorry you are being pressured like this from your mum. My mum pushed and pushed for me to Christen DD.

I hate the requirement for church attendance if you want your kid to attend the local oversubscribed school. Wish we could scrap it - but church attendance would plummet.

TestTubeTeen Tue 22-Aug-17 07:29:51

I wonder who she has been listening to or what she has been reading to get into a frenzy about faith schools? Do you have perfectly normal community schools near you? Lots of village areas only have CoE schools, but you don't have to be religious to get into them.

Give your Mum a comprehensive clear list of all the reasons you will not be having your child Christened (are you baptised? I think you need to be too if you present your child for baptism),. Cover everything you can think of, in a succinct list.

Then tell her that is your decision and you understand she may have made a different choice, but you expect her to respect yours.

Then every time she brings it up, simply do not engage beyond "we've had this conversation, I won't be going over it again". And don't.

Owletterocks Tue 22-Aug-17 07:32:25

I agree with other posters and I think it's time religion is removed from schools. I say that as a catholic who's children go to a catholic school. The entry requirement in our school is baptised catholic living in the catchement area so you just have to be baptised. Church attendance is not looked at.

In a way, I can see your mum's point. Round here if you are baptised you have a choice of 3 schools. If not, it's just one.

CakesRUs Tue 22-Aug-17 07:32:28

Whenever it's bought up, my 20 year old is off we'd had him christened at alll, has been for years.

TestTubeTeen Tue 22-Aug-17 07:35:29

"Very rarely do you see sink estate school come top of the league tables, people from lower socio-economic backgrounds traditionally have no aspirations and do not value education in the same way. (note use of italics, it implies some, not all)"

Don't know where you live, but in London loads of schools with a mostly 'estate' income are 'Outstanding'. A school is good if it offered good teaching in a good environment.

People often mistake a good school for a school which simply reflects the intake if they are high ability and well supported, or is full of 'people like them '. (Which I know is what you are saying in tne following paras of your post).

Changerofname987654321 Tue 22-Aug-17 07:39:50

As an Atheist RE teacher I would not be happy sending my daughter to religious school as I don't want RE taught from the point of view of this what we believe.

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