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Catholic school admission question - practising in one parish, living in another - help!

(8 Posts)
ZigAZigAhh Sun 02-Oct-16 21:25:01

We moved to a London borough last year with baby DS and started attending our nearest church (in Parish A).

We then bought a home quite nearby and still within the same borough, just in a different neighbouring parish (Parish B).

We have continued to attend Parish A church, despite now living in Parish B, because we really like it and have met some lovely people through going.

Although it's still a few years off, we are keen for DS to go to the Parish B primary school (just down the road from us), although intend to put down the Parish A school as a preference (less impressive reputation) as well. I am really confused, though, as to whether our chances of a place at the Parish B school will be harmed by the fact we are not attending church there.

The admissions criteria for both schools says preference will be given to practising Catholic families who live within the parish (no mention of practising at the parish church and there is an option on the supplementary form to specify where you attend church if it's different to the parish church). That would suggest we would be ok with the Parish B school despite attending the Parish A church, but I really don't want to get this wrong and find out we are cut off from both schools!

Does anyone have any experience with this or does it all very much depend on the school?

OlennasWimple Sun 02-Oct-16 21:27:21

Read what you need provide as the evidence you satisfy the criteria. That might give more detail?

anotherdayanothersquabble Sun 02-Oct-16 21:29:48

Ask the priest and the school. I would say that the community around the church and the school can become a big part of your life so you might want to consider whether you want to be the only family who go to church in A but school in B. What happens when it comes to first Communion, school attendance at church etc. Ask the other families at church.

IAmAPaleontologist Sun 02-Oct-16 21:44:34

I suggest you phone the schools and ask them to clarify for you. If the schools are voluntary aided then they can set their own admissions criteria so our experiences may not be the same as yours. At ours it is practicing in the parish first and practicing outside the parish is second. Distance home to school is then done if the school is oversubscribed.

Incidentally though put your choices in the order of your actual preference, you will be judged on whether or not you meet the entry criteria for each choice separately and then given the one that you meet the criteria for that is your highest choice. So if you put school A first and school B second even though you would rather school B the if you get into both you will be given school A. If you put them the other way round you would get given school B unless you didn't meet the criteria. Make sense?

prh47bridge Sun 02-Oct-16 22:34:17

I disagree with the previous answers.

Schools must stick to their published admission arrangements. They cannot have hidden criteria that are not mentioned in the published arrangements. If the admission arrangements say that priority goes to practising Catholic families living within the parish and there is no mention of which church must be attended to get priority, they must give priority to any practising Catholic family living within the parish regardless of where they worship. You could worship at a Catholic church 100 miles away and they would still have to give you priority.

KenDoddsDadsDog Sun 02-Oct-16 22:37:06

We applied for school and got a place in a different parish to the one we went to . The priest signed the form , wasn't an issue.

ZigAZigAhh Mon 03-Oct-16 08:47:32

Thanks all - some really helpful advice!

Will definitely call the schools to check but good to know there are others who have been in our position. Good point anotherday about being the only family at Parish B school who don't go to church there - definitely worth thinking about and something else I will try to look into. There are a few parishes quite close to eachother here and I get the sense the boundaries are quite fluid which adds to the confusion!

nocampinghere Mon 03-Oct-16 09:43:02

I'd be amazed if you weren't fine. It sounds like our school criteria.
- you need to have a priest (any priest) sign the form (proof of practising Catholic)
- you need to live with certain parishes to be admitted to the school.

they are two separate criteria. you can go to church anywhere.

Holy Communion etc is now done in the Parish not by the school so shouldn't be affected. If you prefer Church A then ask the priest how many there go to your preferred school, bet there's lots of crossover.

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