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Church schools "a year ahead" of other schools

(38 Posts)
Caligula Fri 29-Jul-05 12:20:19



Tinker Fri 29-Jul-05 12:23:04

hmm as well. Last paragraph quite revealing.

Marina Fri 29-Jul-05 12:28:33

Can only go on my own local knowledge here but the church school ds might have ended up at (bus ride away and we couldn't make the logistics work in the end) was
a) near the top of the borough league tables
b) had an excellent inclusion policy for children with learning and other disabilities - on paper and seemingly in practice from what we saw on our visit
c) not as big as some of our giant local primaries but had two form entry with 60 kids per year, so hardly titchy
d) socially inclusive in a catchment area of considerable economic deprivation

Not all church schools are small/cliquey/covertly selective guys...

Blu Fri 29-Jul-05 12:36:18

At the top of our road are two church schools: one is at top of borough league tables, one at the depths of the bottom.

Marina Fri 29-Jul-05 12:37:50

more info needed blu - why do you reckon that is? I am guessing they are different denominations for starters?
Not all church schools in our borough do well either. Some are very low down the tables...

sallystrawberry Fri 29-Jul-05 12:43:01

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Blu Fri 29-Jul-05 12:51:06

I can think of many reasons, common to many church schools why they get good results - compound effects of things like smaller classes, foundation and endowment budgets that mean they pay better / have more leeway for resources, more seeway in admissions procedures, higher ratio of motivated, supportive parents who have applied form the fringes of the catchement in order to get to the school etc. It's also anly a one-borough study, so the comparison relies v much on the baseline standard of state schools in the borough to be of applied use elsewhere.

In our borough, amongst the 'top' schools, there is a mix of state and church (and secular foundation) - and some seriously under-performing church schools - (not sure what the reasons for that are) - but our borough is also getting much stronger in building the 'added value' scores - improving the results of low achievers - maybe Dagenham hads not cracked this, who knows?

And may be the religious ethos improves education....but I think for this study to be useful in identifying good practice to be picked up elsewhere, (surely the point of any study) we need to know lots more, don't we?

QueenOfQuotes Fri 29-Jul-05 12:52:03

Well our local (next door LOL) church school has 180 pupils........but only goes up to yr2 - so 60 pupils in each yr. It's not selective, has a good reputation for SEN children, although has a 'below average' number of SEN children (chiefly because the local authrotiy school down the road specialises in SEN provisions and being in the same 'catchment' area for both school parents send their children to the LEA school - by CHOICE and it has an 'above average' number of SEN children).

Although interestingly children with physical disabilities are better provided for at the church school as there are ramps to access all places in the school, while the (VERY) large LEA school doesn't (which I find odd).

Gobbledigook Fri 29-Jul-05 12:56:20

and disgust quite frankly at the last paragraph.

Anyway, church schools are one of my bugbears - I think it's outrageous that they are 90% state funded yet can be so selective about their intake. I see no reason why religious upbringing cannot be done through the home and church.

MrsGordonRamsay Fri 29-Jul-05 12:57:12


"Well our local (next door LOL) church school has 180 pupils"

How very handy, you could almost be tempted to let one sleep whilst you dropped the other to school with the monitor in your hand.

<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<< LEGS IT .....................

Gobbledigook Fri 29-Jul-05 12:59:00

Sorry for strong reaction - I realise it's only a theory. The whole church school thing does bug me though - I'll bow out before I get into a row about it

QueenOfQuotes Fri 29-Jul-05 12:59:01

It's ok come January once DS has settled in reception I'll start standing at my gate and watching him walk through the school gate, and I anticipate by next summer I'll simply make sure he leaves the house and turns "Right" when he goes out the gate

MrsGordonRamsay Fri 29-Jul-05 13:00:28

Better idea jsut get him to bring you breakfast in bed and get himself out to school, after all you are a bad evil mother.


QueenOfQuotes Fri 29-Jul-05 13:00:34

IME the most 'selective' church schools tend to be the Catholic ones - we wouldn't have had cat in hells chance of getting DS1 into the one in this town even if we'd wanted to (not likely very poor school overall), even if we lived next door.

QueenOfQuotes Fri 29-Jul-05 13:01:21

well actually - by the time he starts Y1 he'll get himself up and I'll just watch from the bedroom window.......thinking of fitting a mirror so I can see the house gate from the bed

Blu Fri 29-Jul-05 13:02:48

We applied to 4 schools for DS - all small, flat access schools, because Ds will have major bone surgery throughout his primary years, and is deemed by the LEA to have SEN in respect of this.

So far, one church school has said YES, based on our SEN application 9it is v over-subscribed and has few places not for church members), and one (foundation)has said NO - on exactly the same information, because they sat that as regular state schools are now obliged to have 'action plans' to address disabilities (under the DDA) they cannot admit children with mobility difficulties before children who lkive in closer proximity - even tho' SEN is higher up their admissions criteria that proximity!!

Still waiting to hear from the state schools.

But an e.g of how differently schools can interpret and apply admissions criteria to achieve selection!

MrsGordonRamsay Fri 29-Jul-05 13:02:53


I am sure any newbies would think we are quite mad

QueenOfQuotes Fri 29-Jul-05 13:05:10

yes - but all the 'old timers' KNOW we are (well I am anyhow)

sallystrawberry Fri 29-Jul-05 13:07:20

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

firestorm Fri 29-Jul-05 13:31:00

the reason voluntary aided church schools get better results is because they get so much money given to them by the church that they can afford all the best equipment etc.
my dd`s are due to start at a small voluntary aided church school in september. it is funded by 2 churches & has a per child funding of about 3 times that of the school my eldest has just left it also has far better equipment, resources etc & supplies free fruit to all children at the school, not just the infants as funded by the goverment. dd`s old school cant even be bothered to apply for the free fruit, let alone anything else.
this school is also very inclusive & welcomes applicants from special needs children. last years sat scores were still excellent despite 33% of children taking the exam having sen.
im understandably delighted that my girls will be going to this school. btw were not religious & currently live 40 minutes drive away & it wasnt a problem getting places, we were welcomed.

tortoiseshell Fri 29-Jul-05 13:42:09

Ds is going to a church primary school in September. They get good results, but more importantly for us are a lovely school, with a fantastic head. They are totally non-selective - i.e. they use the same criteria for entry as any other primary school - i.e. disabilities, siblings, distance, but I do think it gives the children more than other similar schools, in extracurricular activities etc. Don't know if that is the head or the 'church'ness of it!

tortoiseshell Fri 29-Jul-05 13:43:31

Meant to add - 'church' school does not necessarily mean 'school you can only go to if church-goer' - all depends on whether it's VC or VA - but this study presumably includes both.

Eaney Sat 30-Jul-05 15:48:43

If your child is going to a Church School and you are not religious how do you feel about the religious eduaction?

Caligula Sat 30-Jul-05 15:54:50

I like it. I'm a raging atheist and my DS goes to a CofE school. They're a bit liberal and wishy washy for me, no hell or devil at all, but apart from that, I think it's quite good that he gets a grounding in the bottom line of European culture, literature and philosophy. I think it would be highly unreasonable of me to object to it, since I chose to send him there knowing it was a CofE school (it says so on the sign-post). If it had masqueraded as an atheist school, or a Muslim one and then started teaching CofE stuff, then I'd have a right to feel aggrieved, but since I did know, I don't see I've got any right to complain.

Feffi Sat 30-Jul-05 16:07:44

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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