Getting into a Roman Catholic school if u are not Catholic?(15 Posts)
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In London and the surrounding areas, it depends more on how good the school is rather than local Catholic population because transport links are good and people will travel miles to go to a good Catholic School rather than their local comp.
Where faith criteria takes priority in admissions, all places in a RC school can be taken up just by Catholic children travelling in from a wide radius.
Where a RC school is less popular, there tend to be spaces for non faith applicants.
DC's go to a RC school as we are, however only about 25% of children are RC (small rural school). depends really on how many catholics are in your area.
I went to RC schools.
My non RC cousin joined me for VI form (no idea why).
Her take on RC schools is, "I would never send my child to a school where they are a second class citizen".
If you like the Howard make sure you look at admissions criteria and buy within the catchment area. Details are on the website. Pretty much all the local primary schools there are good, regardless of what OFSTED says re one or two of them. But if your children are already secondray age it is more difficult as most years have long wait lists, so speak to the school before buying.
Howard of Effingham is a really great school, and you will probably be very happy if you can get your children in there.
The RC in a town near us does take quite a few non catholic DC. They usually need a letter from local C of E vicar or similar to say they are from a christian family. Our vicar is usually very willing to help. We arranged to move on of ours in year 9 because of bullying. He had friends at the RC school who he met through sport, but in the end he decided he didn't want to move after all.
If you want to live in Leatherhead then why don't you consider sending your child to the Howard of Effingham?
Its an outstanding school and there would be no need to lie about religion. I believe that there are other good secondaries in the area.
Some RC schools only require baptism in order for a child to get priority on the admission criteria. They also tend to be able to offer places to most who apply even the ones who are not baptised if they live close enough
The very popular RC schools however tend to have admission criteria a mile long! They place emphasis on baptism, how often you attend mass, whether the child has taken Holy Communion, whether the child attends a Catholic feeder school........ and then right at the end there's a section for all other applicants who get last priority. In many schools few or no children are admitted from this last category.
It looks like the Leatherhead schools are more like the latter than the former - they are popular with people who meet the Catholic criteria, they have strict Catholic criteria (eg feeder schools) and you would reasonably unlikely to get a place if you weren't Catholic because you'd be so low down on the admissions criteria even if you lived very close.
Its not as bad as some areas where you'd have zero chance but it certainly isn't a good chance either.
Have you looked at the admissions policies for the schools involved? I only know one Catholic primary in Leatherhead (there may be more) but a quick look at their admissions criteria for this year shows that you would be in category 9 and last year would not have got a place, the two previous years they offered a few places in that category but they will be dependant on distance from the school and with current pressure on school places in Surrey I wouldn't depend on any places coming available in that category in coming years.
I presume the secondary is St Andrews and again a quick look suggests that you would be in category 10 for admissions with a marginally better chance of getting in. Last year they took only 4 from a PAN of 150 in that category but they also took 25 with a supporting letter from the minister of their (non-Catholic) church. However, in order to fall into that category you presumably have to be attending another church regularly.
Short answer is that it doesn't look hopeful currently but have a look for yourself as only you know your particular circumstances and whether you might fit into a higher category.
You need to look at the admissions criteria and see how far down the list you will come. I would also ask the school for an idea of how likely you are to get a place.
Are you going to be an "in year" applicant or applying for first school/transfer to secondary? If you are "in year" if they have a place they have to offer it to the person at the top of their waiting list.
Sometimes having gone to a feeder primary will move you up the list for a secondary.
Also do make sure you are happy with the ethos of the school, and have thought about what you will do if your children feel left out, eg. Over first communion.
We got sent to one as our only option, despite being dead set against it. We now home educate.
You need to look at the school's entrance criteria. Catholic schools often have ones that will take Catholics from just about anywhere ahead of non-Catholics right next door.
You should also enquire about the last place offered over the last few years. If this is solidly within a criteria with Catholic qualification, then it is highly unlikely a non-Catholic will secure a place. If however it goes into other faith or no faith by distance, then it looks more possible.
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