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Catholic schools - deprived areas, great results?

(20 Posts)
ninah Mon 27-May-13 17:53:54

I don't think you can generalise.

noblegiraffe Mon 27-May-13 11:58:23

I've just looked at the league table for Nottingham, the highest rated catholic school - Trinity, only has 7% low attainers in its intake. Its value added isn't great either, meaning that its high GCSE results are only to be expected from its intake.

What schools did you have in mind?

CounselorTroi Mon 27-May-13 11:52:59

I work in SEN. Catholic schools are often the least inclusive of SEN and strive not to take kids with statements. I've worked in quite a few LAs including Nottingham and had similar experiences " we can't possibly meet this child's needs/ don't encourage parents to apply here/ don't name us on Statement.

lljkk Mon 27-May-13 11:38:50

Where I know about, the Catholic school has solidly respectable results. Better than local area at secondary but inferior to closest primary schools. My guess is that the children of affluent who use local state primaries go private for secondary.

mollysmum82 Mon 27-May-13 11:33:08

This has been really interesting to read, thank you so much. My local friends think I'm mad for even considering any of these areas but your reasoning explains a lot!

IThinkOfHappyWhenIThinkOfYou Mon 25-Feb-13 00:05:41

My dcs are at a good Catholic school in a deprived area which has very good results. It is undersubscribed (not massively but there are spaces in every class) and only 40% of the dcs are baptised. There is a high % of ESL dcs and free school meals. I have no idea why it is a good school (I should, I'm a governor, but I don't)

GW297 Sun 24-Feb-13 23:53:24

It goes on faith not on catchment so the children who attend catholic schools in deprived areas of Notts may not actually live there. Also, children can be poor and clever! I don't think they get the highest results in Nottingham though...

LRDtheFeministDragon Sun 24-Feb-13 23:27:54

Nottingham Boys' High isn't exactly in the leafiest suburbs either, is it?

Would it be offensive to whisper that there are, erm, quite a lot of dodgy areas of Nottingham to choose from?

But seriously - I think Catholic missions sometimes started out in dodgy areas of town so perhaps the school just ended up there for that reason, if that makes sense? It doesn't explain how they manage to keep getting good results, I know.

DioneTheDiabolist Sun 24-Feb-13 23:23:59

DS goes to Catholic PS school in a deprived area. We live in the next deprived area along. The closest he gets to a MC child are the children of the teachers there.

It is an excellent school. Parents are trapped encouraged to participate in all aspects of school life. They enforce an age appropriate uniform policy. They encourage collaboration with children of different ages. They provide opportunities for children and parents to mix. The children put on shows for local nurseries and old people's homes. They visit the local park and nature reserve.

I think that it is this ethos of the school as more than just a delivery mechanism of education but as part of the community that makes the difference in DS's school.

Happymum22 Sun 24-Feb-13 23:22:56

It is a cycle..
....Catholic often means discipline stricter -> better behavior -> better attainment -> sought after school -> parents more committed/interested in their child's education because fought to get child in or generally catholic families quite strict ....

Tasmania Sun 24-Feb-13 23:08:43

Such schools are typically slightly more disciplined (prayers, mass, etc. included in the curriculum) and a strong ethos which gets the initial results, and then, loads of pushy parents fight hair, nail and tooth to get child in (and suddenly attend mass on top). So you are more likely to have committed parents than a school where parents may not care much about education.

cricketballs Sun 24-Feb-13 22:53:04

in my old school it was a common joke on the 1st September - we should be named St....

I currently teach in a very high performing (especially for the area we live in) catholic secondary. The main factors that I can see are the fact that we are not a local school in the true sense. As we have good results then there is a push from far and wide from interested parents to get their child into the school (no matter what religion they are) and this then further pushes the school up further - no matter how good the school, the more parental involvement the better the students/results etc and therefore it is a snow ball effect

This is very different from my previous school which I believe was better for all round care and attention and statistically a better VA as it was in a very deprived area where the vast majority of parents only sent their children to school in order to prevent a fine

By the way I much preferred teaching in the deprived area; I feel I was actually making a difference there

Tansie Sun 24-Feb-13 22:36:18

Those which are good (as opposed to the ones others have mentioned here!-) imho are 'good' because they're selective. A parent has at the very least, to make a choice to send their DC to that school, but, more often, save the fees, get on the knees! That requires rather a lot of commitment and the parents willing to do that tend to be those who are really committed to their DC's education! And, tbf, DC brought up within a community 'tradition' tend to behave better. The whole community (usually religious-based) 'know the score', everyone is, if you'll excuse the rather good pun, singing from the same hymn sheet. All religions demand obedience to teachers, elders and parents. Behaviour unacceptable to the community causes exclusion, either actual or social.

It's been my experience that any school that 'selects' does better than one which either doesn't or can't. That selection can be via wealth, house-price, academic ability, religious persuasion- probably others. But in the same way it can select in, it can bar entry or exclude out.

The mistake the government is making- or are they? IS there 'an agenda?- is to simplistically equate 'religious based school' with 'good academic outcome', therefore permit more and more religious schools to set up, regardless of the divisive nature of them.

LaVolcan Sun 24-Feb-13 22:22:45

I suspect it's because they have a full cross section of the ability ranges, so they are genuinely comprehensive. It would be good to know more though, because it might be a pointer to how other schools could improve.

KenDoddsDadsDog Sun 24-Feb-13 20:14:44

Not at all. Here they are undersubscribed and some going to close.

Tansie Sun 24-Feb-13 20:14:39

Yes, you'd absolutely have to know where the DC come from, how big an area, how many from 'out of catchment' (do they have a catchment as we'd recognise it?), what the entry criteria are.

The main reason schools do well is because they select in some way, by and large!

redandwhitesprinkles Sun 24-Feb-13 20:12:25

In London it is because it is so hard to get into them that many mc parents have to be very 'into god' to get in. Parents tend to be very supportive.

I would imagine in Sunderland and Nottingham it is similar. Kids travel from nice areas into deprived areas for a catholic education. Much less if a 'sink' effect.

Llareggub Sun 24-Feb-13 20:09:35

My children go to a Catholic primary and the children are bussed in from all over the city (not Nottignham!)

The school is fairly strict and they get a fair bit of homework, far more than in their last school. It isn't in a deprived area though, but as none of the children are local is it difficult to categorise the school population.

KenDoddsDadsDog Sun 24-Feb-13 20:06:27

Same where I am in Sunderland. No idea why. Primaries in terrible areas with not so good results but secondaries are all top performing. No selectiveness, it's pretty easy to get into the primary schools. I went to them and the only thing I could conclude is that my school was very strict with a string work ethic.

mollysmum82 Sun 24-Feb-13 20:02:07

Is this just in my area or does this happen across the board?

The catholic schools in Nottingham are in the most deprived areas (Hyson green, aspley, bulwell, st Anne's...) but consistently are top of the league tables. Can anyone explain why this is? Either from a Nottingham perspective or in general? No mass attendance is needed in Nottingham, only baptism. So the argument can't be made that the parents are really committed to attendance and therefore also to education.

The primaries in these most deprived areas also lead on to he best secondaries in the league tables.

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