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Trying to get non-catholic DS into catholic school..

(106 Posts)
VeryProbablyStupid Sun 18-Nov-12 08:21:50

I don't know if this is the place to post this..

DS is 27 months. I have started looking at the local schools etc. There are only three viable options. One school is in a kind of rough part of the area, although it does have good reports etc. Another is a welsh speaking primary, which Im not that keen on although I wouldnt count it out totally. The third is my favourite, its very small, only about 160 pupils in total, seems wonderful. Its a Catholic school, and they have told me seeing as DS is not in the actual catchment area and that he is not catholic, I would need to attend an interview to say why I would value a Catholic education..

There are a few muslim kids in the school, and I know they are not all Catholics, so Im confident there would be a place for him, but Im worried about what to say! I like the idea of there being a strong set of morals, and while Im not religious, I went to a regular school with Lords Prayer and hymns etc and I dont think its a bad thing for kids to be aware of this etc. Anyone been in a similar situation who can give me any tips?

CecilyP Mon 19-Nov-12 11:41:14

I agree, prh, but if the school takes a small number of children who are neither Catholic nor live in the catchment, the OP needs to find out what it is that gets them a place

singinggirl Mon 19-Nov-12 12:53:52

Our local, very highly regarded Anglican Comprehensive keeps six or seven places a year for children who are practising members of other faiths, so there are Muslims, Sikhs and Jews there. It may be these children that the school also takes - or they may just live in catchment.

chloe74 Mon 19-Nov-12 19:53:37

I don't think there is anything wrong with 'converting' just to get into a school. After all if you don't believe then you aren't really converting. You have paid your taxes which fund the school and to be denied an equal chance of entry because you are the wrong religion is discrimination and morally wrong.

Can you imagine the outcry if an employer interviewing for a job said your not getting it because your muslim/jewish/cathloic etc.

Sometimes when you are fighting discrimination you have to do things you don't like but do them because its the right thing to do.

HouseOfBamboo Mon 19-Nov-12 20:23:46

"Can you imagine the outcry if an employer interviewing for a job said your not getting it because your muslim/jewish/cathloic etc."

Well. Exactly. Why are more people not absolutely outraged that PUBLICLY FUNDED schools get away with it?

titchy Mon 19-Nov-12 20:40:03

The church does fund schools - 10% plus all capital costs I believe. I do think we should be a secular country though.

Portofino Mon 19-Nov-12 20:45:45

So, if you don't live in catchment, and are not catholics, then you find a different school, and leave that school for those that ARE either catholics or in catchment. Why should someone else.s child lose a place on those grounds because you have decided you LIKE that one.

BuddyTheChristmasElf Mon 19-Nov-12 20:46:17

I think it would actually be a good idea to go to mass, firstly to find out if you really are as happy with it's involvement in your child's school life as you think

then if you are and you like it then you have the option of baptising, a LOT of 3 year olds get baptised around here before the admissions open but many of them attended mass regulalry before that.

And if you don't like mass then you mightened like the catholic aspect to the education, its more involved than COE schools IMO, where they have more designated religious times, at catholic schools it is brought into absolutely everything not just prayer time etc

But either way you'll be more sure about how you want to proceed if you go along for a few weeks and see what you think

Portofino Mon 19-Nov-12 20:48:02

So you PRETEND to be Catholic - that is the way of doing things?

BuddyTheChristmasElf Mon 19-Nov-12 20:50:32

no, its not pretending to go to mass a few times and find out if you like it or not

if you do then there's no harm in baptising the child since they're going to taught under that system anyway, that's not pretending, if the OP is genuinely happy for the child to have a catholic education then how is it pretending?

if you don't like it then no harm done, turning up to mass a few times doesn't make you a catholic for life!

HouseOfBamboo Mon 19-Nov-12 20:53:55

Well if the church funds 10 percent, how about they get to pick 10 percent of the pupils?

BuddyTheChristmasElf Mon 19-Nov-12 20:55:33

you don't have to sign a life time contract at the door before you can go in and look around wink

and opting for a catholic school is a pretty big commitiment to supporting the child to learn about catholicism, which is basically what you promise at baptism, so there's no lying.

But it is IMO important to really know what you're getting into, its not just a few hymns in assembly, it's pretty full on and its worth being sure first

BuddyTheChristmasElf Mon 19-Nov-12 20:56:18

The fund 10% plus the land

HouseOfBamboo Mon 19-Nov-12 21:09:35

The land which, imho, is immorally owned because the church in the past scared people into leaving the land to them so they could avoid hell. Not terribly fair on today's taxpayer.

chloe74 Mon 19-Nov-12 21:09:36

Hmmm, 10% capital costs is peanuts to the church and means not a single penny per head of child. If my family donated 10% capital costs to a school should I be allowed to decide who gets selected for the school? That's not even getting into where the churches land and wealth came from. Its as corrupt as most other 'old' money businesses are and should be given back to the people it was taken from.

And the corruption continues today e.g. Last year Richmond council bought land in Twickenham, for £8.4 million. It then leased the land to the Catholic Church for FREE, to run two schools. Once the secondary was full it would have 93% of its places allocated to Catholic's. Last week parents started their high court battle for religious discrimination.


VeryProbablyStupid Mon 19-Nov-12 21:13:59

Thanks for all your replies.

I would like to point out that I never intended for my son to take the place is someone who was catholic or lived in the catchment area. Obviously I was thinking if there were extra spaces. The schools catchment area us very small so I'm hoping there will be room.
I am not religious myself, but I am not against religion. I wasn't brought up with any religion and I think its harder to commit in later life with very little information. That said, the main reason I want my son to to to that school is because it seems to be the best near us. But if it seems such a horribly bad idea to send him there maybe I was mistaken, I really don't know enough about it that's why I posted here.

And I won't be converting to catholicism just to get him into a school!

BuddyTheChristmasElf Mon 19-Nov-12 21:21:30

you wont find out if its better or not for you unless you find out more, go see what the church linked to the school is like, that does NOT = you converting!, go speak to the school directly

it might be the best option for other people BECAUSE of the religious aspect, so if that's not a priority for you then it might not be

look at ALL schools, don't rule any out because they seem unpopular, they might be perfect for you

word of mouth is bollocks IMO when it comes to schools, find out for yourself! I wouldn't touch with a barge pole some schools that are friend's no1 choice and vica verca

thisthreadwilloutme Mon 19-Nov-12 21:22:27

Find ou how many non catholic children got into the school over the past 5 years. In my school, unless your child is baptised Catholic you have zero chance. Other local schools also require church attendance. Look at the admissions criteria to see if this applies.

VeryProbablyStupid Mon 19-Nov-12 21:34:10

How do I find out all this stuff then? I had a Google but couldn't find any of this stuff

prh47bridge Mon 19-Nov-12 21:47:59

Just to clarify the funding position since there is some confusion here...

The land and buildings belong to the church. In theory all running costs are funded by the state. In practise there are a few areas such as buildings insurance which the church has to fund. The church also has to fund 10% of any capital costs (new buildings, refurbishing existing buildings, etc.).

seeker Mon 19-Nov-12 21:52:25

Have a good look at th Catholic faith and think about whether it's something you want your child to be associated with.

Then go for the one in the "rough part of town"

thisthreadwilloutme Mon 19-Nov-12 22:04:19

To find out you need to talk to the school - they should be happy to give you the info.

HouseOfBamboo Mon 19-Nov-12 22:17:31

Your local council website should have an Education admissions section, there should hopefully be some useful info on individual schools there.

HouseOfBamboo Mon 19-Nov-12 22:20:31

Seeker - yes that about sums up how absurd and corrupt the system is.

KenDoddsDadsDog Mon 19-Nov-12 22:29:53

Schools are very wise to people converting to get into schools and the conversion itself is intense and takes months.
But research it thoroughly - it's not just the Lords Prayer and a few other things , it is very full on indeed.
I had a very good education in a Catholic school but due to events of recent years I very much doubt if I want my DD to be educated in the faith.

LordFlasheart Mon 19-Nov-12 22:37:03

the info should be online. Look at the ofstead website im sure theres a link there to the stats site for schools. DSs school is similar, the headmaster told us how many get in each year who are not worshipers or in cachement (very popular school, basically noone!). Phone school and ask for a copy of their admissions criteria. Or should be on the council website. I think you should seriously consider if you want a catholic education for your child first though, do go to the church and see what it feels like because you WILL have to be quite involved and you may not feel comfortable when your hearing about sin etc.

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