This is something that has always gone against the grain for me until-we had DS
We are moving to an area where there are some excellent schools surrounding us, so really we are in a good position.
School A is a catholic school, excellent reputation, intake of 90. Just across the road from us. School B is 10-15 mins walk. OFSTED 1. Catchment school. Really good reputation. We are all but guaranteed to get into this school as they often take out of catchment. School C is 10-15 mins walk. OFSTED 1. Not catchment but excellent reputation. We havent got a chance - they have a tiny catchment and apparently have 200 applications for 30 places.
We have always been happy with School B. We have never considered school A as it is RC and we follow no religion (although i was christened and confirmed as C of E - DH is christened C of E)
But recently we have seriously considering putting School A down as first choice. My honest reason is due to the proximity to home (2 mins walk) and excellent reputation. I think we might get in as they have a high intake, we have no objection to him attending a religious school, and would be happy for him to have a religious education. The supplementary form does not require a signature or request for church attendance.
Although DH and I would love him to go to school A we also feel a bit of a fraud not being catholic. We just want the best for DS, as all parents do.
Are we complete hypocrites? <dons hard hat and accepts flaming>
There is nothing to stop you putting the school down as your first preference, providing that you realise that is is going to be a long shot to get admission to the school, as you will be after all baptised catholics. If you did this then it would not prejudice in any way your chances at the state school under the equal preference scheme that is in operation across England.