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How long do faith schools want you to pray for?

(48 Posts)
Rosebud05 Fri 15-Jul-11 20:43:02

I ask on behalf of a friend who has just realised that there's an Ofsted outstanding church school at the end of her road. She's culturally rather than religiously catholic, and has her her children baptised though hasn't been to mass for years.

She's planning to start going to mass; her oldest is due to start reception Sept 2012. I was suggesting that she might have left it a bit late and that she's going to have to enrol her children in the Sunday school, but she thinks a couple of months of devotion should do it?

What are other peoples' experiences?

thebird Fri 15-Jul-11 20:58:26

It depends of the school and whether it is oversubscribed or not. Most RC schools require attendance at church to be confirmed by the parish priest as part of the school application. If her DC is due to start in Sep 2012 then the application for this school year would need to be submitted in about October this year - this doesnt leave much time for church attendance!

Our local priest has made it clear that he would not be signing any applications for those who suddenly find their religon and started attending church in the few months before a school application - but like I said it depends how popular the school is.

bringinghomethebacon Fri 15-Jul-11 21:01:19

It will depend on the priest. To be honest our parish is huge and the priest really doesn't get involved, I go every week but if I hadn't had both kids baptised there then he wouldn't have known me and had no idea if I was there every week or not. He did ask fairly searching questions about my worshipping habits though, and the priest reference form asked the specific questions "how often do you go to mass: weekly, monthly, occasionally, other" and "for how long has this been your regular practice". Depends on whether she's willing to lie to a priest!!

bumpybecky Fri 15-Jul-11 21:04:02

our CofE school wants you to be a regular churchgoer (at least once per month) for at least a year before application

but it's at the discretion of the Vicar as to whether he fills in teh box on the form and what he writes in the box and he's on the admissions panel too

GwendolineMaryLacey Fri 15-Jul-11 21:09:17

DD starts at the Catholic school in Sept 2012 (hopefully!) and we've had to sign attendance forms every week since she was 2 and a half. If your attendance slips from 'every week' to 'between one and three times a month' then you've got no chance.

bumpybecky Fri 15-Jul-11 21:16:54

Gwen, are you allowed to go on holiday or be ill?!

KenDoddsDadsDog Fri 15-Jul-11 21:23:16

We go almost every Sunday (DD 18 months) and even though there has been no mention of school, it is noted if you are not there. I do try to go on days of obligation too but because I like to go.
It really depends on the priest / governors but if the school is over subscribed then a few months devotion won't be enough.

whoknowswho Fri 15-Jul-11 21:23:24

Why do non churchgoers want to go to catholic schools? I just don't understand it. Why pretend to be something your not!

ravenAK Fri 15-Jul-11 21:27:08

Because they are self-selecting for involved, committed parents - which is usually the most decisive factor re: attainment, behaviour etc.

thebird Fri 15-Jul-11 21:27:26

Also I find it hard to believe that shes 'just realised' that there's an Ofsted outstanding church school at the end of her road! Like she has she just suddenly spotted it the year before her DC starts school - give me a break!

GenevieveHawkings Fri 15-Jul-11 21:29:51

If she cares about her child's education why on earth would she consider sending him/her to a faith school?

thebird Fri 15-Jul-11 21:32:27

GenevieveHawkings
Because its at the end of the road and has an outstanding OFSTED perhaps?

bringinghomethebacon Fri 15-Jul-11 21:42:07

By the way I just re-read my post and I certainly wasn't advocating lying to the priest, although it might have sounded like that!! There is a very strong faith presence in the catholic school DD1 goes to, they say prayers every day before home time, the parents pray together and at regular masses at the school, it would feel very very odd if you were not that keen on the faith.

Gwendoline - yes what do you do if you go away for the weekend? We go away fairly regularly and although I always try to get to mass it is very awkward if we're staying with friends and family who aren't churchgoers. I go to a church near my work on days of obligation (very peaceful as its so quiet and small, love going there).

BeehiveBaby Fri 15-Jul-11 21:47:23

Just a baptism certificate required for my local school, although I sense that may change.

BeehiveBaby Fri 15-Jul-11 21:48:56

Re Gwendoline - Maybe you're expected to attend mass while away? not that tricky?

LynetteScavo Fri 15-Jul-11 21:50:30

It all depends on how many Catholic people around want to go to that school.

At the school my DC attend, as long as you are baptised you will get in. Only about 50% of the school are baptised.

Annunziata Fri 15-Jul-11 21:51:02

I don't know if you were trying to be funny OP but your post is quite offensive.

Tell her to forget Ofsted, which is a crock of shit, and go and look at all the other schools in the catchment area. I despise faith schools so did not entertain the idea of sending DS to one in the first place, did not read any Ofsted reports, just went to see the nearest non-faith schools and chose the one that I liked the best - which is a brilliant school despite its so-so Ofsted. The reason it's brilliant is because of the attitude towards the fact that it has a lot of 'challenging' children ( high proportion of DC with not much English, the regional centre for hearing-impaired DC, fairly high turnover of DC due to us living in an area with a lot of refugees who are here only for a short time) and puts a hell of a lot of effort into them.

LynetteScavo Fri 15-Jul-11 21:53:38

GenevieveHawkings, faith schools can provide an excellent education. hmm

I'm not Catholic, but am thrilled with the education my DC receive at their state faith schools.

LynetteScavo Fri 15-Jul-11 21:56:02

And yes, look past Ofsted reports, but remember Ofted look around schools for more than 20 mins, which is probably the length of time it takes the average prospective parent to look around a school.

Rosebud05 Fri 15-Jul-11 21:57:11

thebird, yes she actually has just realised and her oldest is will be 4 in September. The catchments to other popular local schools shrunk dramatically in the last year, so her focus has changed a bit.

It does have an Outstanding ofsted and very good SATS results, which are pretty much gained from a sold concentration on English and Maths (now not even science now that the SATs have changed) with endless testing of kids and very scant attention paid to music, art, trips out etc.

It's very, very oversubscribed, single form entry and two thirds of allocations are siblings, so it does sound like she's going to be disappointed. Some friends of mine put in 2 years of mass at the school and volunteered in the youth club and were unsuccessful this year, though they live much further away.

Rosebud05 Fri 15-Jul-11 21:58:36

annunzita, sorry to have unintentionally offended you. Dunno how.

LynetteScavo Fri 15-Jul-11 22:03:51

"It does have an Outstanding ofsted and very good SATS results, which are pretty much gained from a sold concentration on English and Maths (now not even science now that the SATs have changed) with endless testing of kids and very scant attention paid to music, art, trips out etc."
I would avoid this school, TBH.

"Some friends of mine put in 2 years of mass at the school and volunteered in the youth club and were unsuccessful this year,"

Mass isn't something you do just for the sake of gaining a school place. You gain the school place because you practice a particular faith.

Annunziata Fri 15-Jul-11 22:06:31

LynetteScavo said it more eloquently.

thebird Fri 15-Jul-11 22:08:00

Im sure your friend wont be the only one thinking of this if the catchments in the area have changed. Generally the parish create even more hurdles if this is the case. If she hasnt attended in the last year Id say chances are slim - but again seak to the school to see what their requriements are.

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