Catholic church schools question...(17 Posts)
Just starting to look at schools for my DC. There are a couple of good catholic churches in our area so I may consider them when the time comes, but have some doubts regarding application.
a) Im guessing they expect you to attend mass, right?
b) Also, what if you attend mass somewhere else, being not the church that is actually linked to the school, is that still ok?
c) Do catholic children then get priority over non catholic ones?
d) How do you make proof of church attendance during application?
I think that most catholic church schools require the child to have been baptised in a catholic church - usually the baptism certificate is what you need to show.
The Catholic schools with have an admissions criteria and they can be slightly different but I can answer your questions based on my DC's catholic school which may help.
a) Priority is given to baptised, practicing families.
b) Priority will be given to the children that attend the schools church but baptised, practicing, catholic children from another catholic church will still be fairly high up on the admissions criteria (this is the criteria my children have gained admission to their school and I'm hoping DD2 will too, find out on Saturday!)
c) Yes catholic children do get priority over non catholic children.
d) We need to provide a copy of the child's baptism certificate and a letter/email/phone call from the parish priest confirming that you attend church.
I know in some areas you have to sign in to say you have attended mass but that's not the case in my area.
all schools are different so you will have to look on their website for their particular process but at ours (Catholic)
you must complete a Supplementary Information Form. Basically a form the Priest has to sign to say whether you attend mass fortnightly, monthly or less than monthly. If you aren't Catholic then the form should be completed by your Vicar or other faith leader.
Categories at our school are
siblings with Church attendance in catchment
Church attendees in catchment
Siblings with Church attendance out of catchment
Church attendees out of catchment
non catholic but faith
they never seem to get below Church attendees in catchment so yes you must be Catholic and attend regularly in practice.
oh and have to show Baptism certificate as well.
I think thats right anyway but that is just our school so it depends on their criteria
It really is up to the school. You need to check with each of them The one my friend looked at requested baptism before the first birthday and certain attendance in their church. Others may be more flexible.
Also the application process may say siblings of children already attending are ok even without mass attendance while other say that also for siblings are the same requirements as for other applications.
Do your homework now so you now what you need.
a) Yes - absolutely. On a regular basis not just Xmas and Easter
b) It doesnt matter where you go to church. What matters is whether you live in the parish of the school you are applying to. Priority is given to catholics who live within the parish of the church that the school is attached to, then to catholics who live outside the parish.
d) You get a form signed by the priest at the church you attend to say that you have been a regular church goer for the last three years. Most priests are very strict on this (as they should be) but some are very lax which can mess the system up
Also your child must be baptised and in a lot of cases baptised within 6 months of birth.
Proof varies but almost always includes baptism certificate and priests reference form. Sometimes parent baptism or confirmation certificate etc.
For our son's Catholic school we had to provide his Baptismal certificate and have a reference from our Parish Priest which confirmed that we attended Mass regularly. We also had to fill in a supplementary form which asked, among other things, what we did in our local community. I think all schools are different, this one is massively over subscribed which I think accounts for the all the additional information.
You see every school is different as ours doesn't use attending siblings unless there is a tie in a criteria so our is
Practising, baptised, catholic children within the parish of the school
Practising baptised, catholic children outside the parish of the school
Baptised catholic children within parish
Baptised catholic children outside parish
Children with catholic parents within parish
children with catholic parents outside parish
Church attending children within the parish
Church going children outside the parish
All other children
Our school gives priority in order to;
1) Looked after children
2) Catholics attending the next door church every week
3) Attendees between 1-3 x per month
4) Weekly in different parish
5) 1-3 x in different parish
6) All comers
We had to sign a form every week at mass to prove attendance.
Where I live there are loads of families who never go to catholic mass but their kids got in to the local catholic primary school because the children were baptised in the church. The only time they go back is for Holy Communion lessons and then Confirmation. There are people who attend every week but not many, tbh. So obviously does depend on area.
In my DD's school, it doesn't matter where you do go to mass as long as you go and the priest will support you by signing your reference form.
Most catholic schools will give priority to children who are baptised and practising catholics. Whether you'd get in without this depends upon demand for the school.
I should add that our school serves 4 different Catholic churches I think if I remember right so the Priests form can be signed by any of those Priests.
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
Thanks to all!
My DC is baptised but after 6 months.
I attend church but not every week and no the church linked to the school I'm looking for, therefore the question.
I will give them a call and just ask what the criteria is!
Look on the school website.
Looked after Catholic children
Baptised Catholic siblings with parents attending mass 4 times a month (don't have to live in parish)
Baptised Catholic children living in parish with parents attending mass 4 times a month
And then there's others but they don't tend to get in.
The Catholic school my son just got into gives priority to practicing Catholics living inside the parish boundary, but they do not have to practice at the parish church. Every Catholic school has slightly different criteria, some schools do give priority to those practicing at the parish church.
Oh the irony of it all. In northern ireland you dont even have to pretend to be a catholic to get a place in a Catholic school, in fact I think it may be illegal here. (I await correction from those in the know). Of course given our peculiarities the reality is that in 99% of cases it is only catholics who choose to attend. My kids go to a very high performing Catholic school and I never have been asked for any indication or proof of religion.
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