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applying for jobs in a faith school when you don't follow any religion

(20 Posts)
CurlyhairedAssassin Fri 03-Jul-09 21:54:26

I've got a job interview for a non-teaching post at a Catholic school next week. I really want it, but am worried that they might ask me how much the Catholic religion is important to me. a) I wasn't christened Church of England and b)I haven't been to church in years and don't feel a need to.

Are they allowed to ask that sort of question? Would they even be bothered what religion, if any, I followed?

Thanks.

CurlyhairedAssassin Fri 03-Jul-09 21:57:35

sorry, that should be a)I WAS christened Church of England.

CMOTdibbler Fri 03-Jul-09 22:01:15

I think it depends on the school really - my mum used to teach at a CofE school where the head was quaker, deputy head evangelical, and my mum was a lapsed catholic. Not a regular cofe staff member amongst them.

I have seen job adverts that talk about the christian ethos of the school and subscribing to that, so maybe have a little waffle about how you don't take part in a church, but morals are important to you (or somesuch) jic

janeite Fri 03-Jul-09 22:03:47

When I have had interviews (teaching) in Catholic schools, they always say that candidates will be judged on individual merit but if they have two equally good and one is Catholic and the other not, it will go to the Catholic.

CurlyhairedAssassin Fri 03-Jul-09 22:07:57

Yes, I've seen it mentioned in job adverts too - teaching jobs though, I think they were. I can understand it for teaching jobs because you are having a huge influence on the development of a young person's personality and morals. But for an admin post where there wouldn't be a huge amount of contact? Surely not......

Janeite, see that's part of the reason that I don't really agree with faith schools - they are so divisive.

CurlyhairedAssassin Fri 03-Jul-09 22:10:00

Must remind myself NOT to mention my last thought in the middle of the interview. grin

scienceteacher Sat 04-Jul-09 08:55:17

I don't think a school would ask you about your attitude and practice of faith.

I think they would reserve that for just the Headteacher, the Head of RS, and the chaplain.

All that they would ask is that you are sympathetic to the ethos of the school.

flatcapandpearls Sat 04-Jul-09 09:06:07

I teach RE so am always asked so perhaps not the best person to ask. However I have taught in a Catholic school and aside from my department there were plenty of people who were of other relgions or not any faith at all.

As long as you get across that you are respectful of the Catholic faith it should be fine.

MaryBS Sat 04-Jul-09 09:29:18

As its a Catholic school, they'll be more concerned with whether you fit in with the ethos of the school. You might struggle for example if you're an unmarried mother, because the teaching of the church is that sex before marriage is wrong.

PortAndLemon Sat 04-Jul-09 09:29:55

I don't think they'll be bothered given that it's a non-teaching post. They will probably prefer it if you don't give the impression of believing that Catholics are idolatrous fools who are going straight to hell, and not saying that you disagree with faith schools will also be a plus grin.

Scienceteacher, in a primary school at least they normally would discuss religious practice and faith with candidates for ordinary teaching positions, but a non-Catholic will normally be fine in that area provided they show evidence of willingness to learn and of understanding the ethos of a faith school. I would guess that in a secondary school it'd be less significant.

CurlyhairedAssassin Sat 04-Jul-09 13:36:10

So the consensus is that I shouldn't be expected to recite the whole of Psalm 25:4-7, name all the books of the New Testatment and confess all my sins? grin

Thanks everyone. As I lead a very boring family-values kind of life with no past misdemeanours (that I can remember) I shall not worry!

janeite Sat 04-Jul-09 13:54:22

But if you don't agree with faith schools, why do you want to work in one? Sorry but am I bit confused.

CurlyhairedAssassin Sat 04-Jul-09 21:30:29

Janeite, it's not that I don't agree with them per se, it's just that in some areas they give rise to situations where the only decent secondary schools are oversubscribed faith schools. My two sons would never be acccepted at such schools as we don't attend church. So the only other option for them would be a highly competitive grammar-type school with exam entrance, or a really terrible school which takes in all the kids whose parents don't really care whether they attend school or not.

I can understand the reason for faith schools existing in that they can reinforce during the school day what is taught at church, I just wish there were decent alternatives for us morally-upstanding, family-values type of family (not a good description but hopefully you know what I mean) which leads a "christian" type of life (if there is one!) but chooses not to follow a particular religion or attend church.

My son attends a non-denominational infant school and comes home asking me about God because he's been given an assembly which has had a Christian slant to it and I don't have a problem with that - I reply to his question saying things like "I'm not sure why God makes animals that could eat us." grin (his latest question!) i.e. I refer to God and Heaven etc to his questions.

We just don't have a particular religion as a family and don't attend church. The kids have never been christened - don't see the need. PILs are not that happy about it I'm sure, - they are staunch catholics - never missing Mass, even whilst on holiday abroad. They will find out where the nearest catholic church is and go.

I don't know, I just find the whole issue very difficult to comprehend.

Ultimately I want to work there because the job is perfect for me, and it is a good school so hopefully the pupils who attend actually want to be there!

janeite Sat 04-Jul-09 23:58:04

Sorry - I wasn't expecting you to have to write a long justification: was just being nosey! Good luck with the interview.

CurlyhairedAssassin Sun 05-Jul-09 00:05:20

Thanks, wasn't expecting it to turn out to be a long justification either - just got carried away typing really! As usual....Guess I could have cut out all but the last sentence! smile I just hope I don't waffle on like that in the interview or I'll have to stand up and get my coat halfway through!

janeite Sun 05-Jul-09 00:07:01

You'll be great, I'm sure.

MaryBS Sun 05-Jul-09 08:10:27

ChA, thought that was a GOOD answer

PortAndLemon Sun 05-Jul-09 10:05:38

If they did ask something you could say that you are CofE yourself, but your DH is a non-practising Catholic and your in-laws are very heavily involved with the church, so you understand how important a Catholic ethos and identity is to the families who choose a faith education for their children (or words to that effect). But I doubt they will.

CurlyhairedAssassin Sun 05-Jul-09 20:20:29

Ooh PortAndLemon, I will definitely rehearse that answer just in case! Thanks. smile

CurlyhairedAssassin Fri 10-Jul-09 10:12:20

Well, I got the job, folks! Thanks for all the advice - turns out I was worrying over nothing though. They didn't ask for my religious views at all, so all you who said they wouldn't - you were right!

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