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Child allocated to a CofE school, but we are totally against faith schools - help!

(12 Posts)
philprime Fri 19-Apr-13 15:57:55

Feeling a little desperate as I dont want my eldest child to go to any faith-based school but she has just been allocated to a CofE primary despite us picking as our first choice a non-religious school. I plan to appeal but am unhopeful...I'd really appreciate any tips/help. Thanks.

BackforGood Fri 19-Apr-13 15:59:45

What did you put for your 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th choices ?

tiggytape Fri 19-Apr-13 16:02:33

I am afraid the answer is the LA can allocate a faith school to parents who would not choose a faith school.
Whilst it can be difficult for non-religious families to get places at very oversubscribed faith schools - the ones who select on faith criteria, if a faith school is undersubscribed, it is treated like any other community school.

Since you did not qualify for any of the schools you listed on your form, your council has had to allocate you the nearest available school with spare places and the fact it is a faith school doesn't enter into the equation.
You cannot appeal on the basis that you are of a different or no faith but you can opt your child out of RE and all religious worship at the school if he starts there.

I know that's probably not what you want to hear though. Your best bet if you really want to avoid this school and other faith schools is to get onto waiting lists. Not just for the original schools you listed but any others that you prefer to the one allocated.

noramum Fri 19-Apr-13 16:05:58

Why are you against faith schools. Even non-faith state schools include a daily act of worship, tell bible stories and do nativity plays.

If you have been allocated a space without being an active member of the church or have your child baptised I would assume a lot of the children attending are not active CoE members and the school may be more relaxed than others.

Did you see the school? Maybe have a word with the school and ask how the influence is and what the children will do.

Blu Fri 19-Apr-13 16:13:41

"Even non-faith state schools include a daily act of worship, tell bible stories and do nativity plays."

Not really. The London schools I have any knowledge of only have a couple of assemblies a week and seem to get by singing 'The World's Greatest', 'Something Inside So strong' , 'Three Little Birds', and if it is Harvest Festival, 'Coconut Woman;.

OP I sympathhise - but have you visited? Is it ine of the schools that happens to be a CoE but finctions as the ocal community school, or is it one that is v pro-actively a faith school?

philprime Fri 19-Apr-13 16:22:24

Thanks very much everyone - appreciate the thoughts. Tiggytape - I expected as much and will put her on the waiting lists for all local non-religious schools as soon as we have the letter through (we were informed by email and told that we cant do anything until the written letter arrives). Aware that I cant opt her out of worship (although this leaves a bad taste, as this immediately sets her apart as 'different' - which even though she will cope with seems unfair to me). noramum - I'm against faith schools for so many reasons - but in a way that is another argument. Right now I just want to get her to good local non-religious school. I am all too aware that she'll still face daily acts of worship - which I will opt her out of. I have seen the school and it is nice and relatively relaxed - but as with most CofE schools - there is still a strong christian agenda. It is very much an ideological clash - but one it seems I am utterly powerless to do anything about, which sadens me immensly. Thanks very much for your time - really do appreciate it.

noramum Fri 19-Apr-13 17:45:07

Blu, while many may it do it, they are required to do so officially. So if you are unlucky you may end up with all alternatives doing the required bit.

tiggytape Fri 19-Apr-13 17:49:10

noramum is right. All schools are legally obliged to have an act of collective worship everyday of a mainly Christian ethos even if they are not faith schools.
If you have a school that doesn't do this it just means they aren't complying as they should - there is no official way for schools to opt out of this, only individual parents (well schools can ask for the Christian element to be changed to another faith instead but they can't have no worship at all)

teacherwith2kids Fri 19-Apr-13 18:05:38

I currently teach in an (on paper) wholly non-religious school.

Its daily acts of worship are significantly more overtly religious, and much more monocultural (Christian) than those at my old C of E school. It's one of those odd areas in which schools don't always do quite what it says on the tin.

ShowOfHands Fri 19-Apr-13 20:28:05

There are no non-religious schools here. They are all CofE in even the loosest terms. DD's school follows the one daily act of worship with a broadly Christian ethos thing but actually they cover so many different religions and festivals. DD knows more about Chinese New Year, Eid, Diwali etc than I do probably. Today she's come home talking about Paganism and the hijack of December 25th from the Pagans. She's in Y1 and the school are v good at basing the daily worship thing round a value (which is a Christian value, thereby a nod to the requirements) and they talk about things like compassion, hope, perseverance, humility etc.

I suppose what I'm trying to say is that some non-religious schools may be more broadly Christian in their teaching than a CofE school.

DownyEmerald Fri 19-Apr-13 20:39:30

Round here all the village schools are faith schools. But they do vary hugely. Ours is quite religious I would say - it is endowed which I think might make a difference, some of the governers are appointed by the church etc. My friends dd goes to a CE school over the hill and it's much more laid back about the whole religion thing.

I would have preferred a non-faith for dd but that would have meant travelling, rather than walking over the road. I'm afraid I went for the in community aspect (and laziness) over my ideals.

radicalsubstitution Fri 19-Apr-13 22:32:03

DS' school is a community (non-faith) school.

The HT is a Christian, and thus takes the 'daily act of worship of a broadly Christian nature' aspect of the school day quite seriously. This is, in fact, her legal obligation.

The school is very broadly representative of the population as a whole. DS has friends in school who are Muslim and Hindu. His best friend is a Jehovah's Witness.

There are currently no children in the school who are withdrawn from the daily act of worship.

I know that there are C of E schools in our area that are far less 'churchy' than DS' school is.

No offence intended, but if you have that much of a problem with church influence in schools then you may run into problems regardless of where your DC attends.

There have been loads of threads on this subject over the last year or so.

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