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Catholic schools, your view...

(7 Posts)
sea74 Thu 16-Jun-11 22:52:27

i was not born in uk so i have never studied here but i would like to have your 100%honest point of view: are the catholic schools, usually, better than the non-catholic? If you were catholic, would you fell that you would miss out on your children's education if you did not send them to a catholic school? Sorry for asking this, but i would really like to understand if today in uk an education in a catholic school helps you at all.
Should i put only catholic schools in the application?

Please do not kill me ! smile

acorntree Fri 17-Jun-11 09:57:19

In my experience it depends on the local schools - and it depends what you mean by 'better' - better academically or better for catholic children.

In many areas catholic schools do have good reputations academically but it's not universally true.

Many catholic schools give a good faith background, but others seem to be catholic in name only.

My advice would be to go and visit your local schools and see.

MaryBS Fri 17-Jun-11 10:02:53

Is this for primary or secondary?

The secondary faith (joint Anglican/RC) school that DD is going to in September has a really good ethos, in terms of supporting the pupils, and that is very important to me. I believe it will also do a good job of nurturing her in her faith. It has good, but not outstanding exam results. If she changes her mind about believing, that is one thing, but I would hate it to be because of peer pressure.

acorntree Fri 17-Jun-11 10:14:40

"If you were catholic, would you fell that you would miss out on your children's education if you did not send them to a catholic school"

to answer this bit - I feel I have slightly failed my children by not sending them to a catholic school, I live in a semi-rural area and at the time I was looking at primary schools they were no better than the local schools academically, involved a 40 minute taxi drive with no taxi place guaranteed until after Easter in the first year, and looked at me as if I was round the bend when I tried to ask if they had school Masses or prepared children for the sacraments etc. (apparently they stopped because the parents said it was a waste of time)* realistically there was no possibility of sending them to Catholic schools, but I still feel I failed them.

*to be fair I should add that the school has had two more heads since then and is now a lot more catholic.

zeolite Fri 17-Jun-11 10:33:12

"...are the catholic schools, usually, better than the non-catholic?"
If only it were that simple. They're certainly better for those who think they are (including non-Catholics). Not everyone thinks that (including Catholics).

"If you were catholic, would you fell that you would miss out on your children's education if you did not send them to a catholic school?"
That one is easy - no if you're at a better school, obviously yes if you're not.

However if you mean catholic (liberal), and not Catholic (relating to the church), then yes and yes because good education is about universal interest and broad-mindedness.

Madsometimes Sat 18-Jun-11 15:13:21

In my LEA, the Catholic secondary schools are very good, but it is a bit of a chicken and egg situation. The schools are good, so the parents want to send their children to them, so they stay good.

There is a girls school in my borough which is excellent. Nearby there was a Catholic boys school, which is in the next borough. Traditionally, the children at the two schools were from the same families (brothers and sisters, similar intake). Both were grammar schools which went comprehensive.

The girls school kept standards high, mainly by streaming, and having high expectations of all students regardless of deprivation. The boys school went down hill. They did not keep the discipline standards up, and made too many excuses for family background. Consequently within families, girls would go to the girls Catholic school, and boys would go anywhere else. To put in context in 2006, the boys school got less 21% of its students 5 GCSE's including maths and English, its best results ever (in 2003 it got 5%). The girls school got 55%, a poor cohort, results were normally 65%.

Needless to say, the boys school is now a mixed academy, and is improving, but from a very low starting point. Last year, it got 43% of students 5 GCSE's including maths and English, but the girls school got 80%.

So, rather like any school, Catholic schools can be good or bad. Things can change.

bitsyandbetty Sat 18-Jun-11 18:23:34

The catholic secondary schools in our area are not as good as the top achieving non-faith schools but they draw on a much larger catchment area so have less well-off children.

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