Don't want to baptise child just to get into local faith schools(3 Posts)
I am racing ahead as it is still a couple of years before we need to start applying for primary schools, but want early advice. Most of the local primary schools are faith schools. There are two secular schools, but with large housing developments being built by them now, so their catchments will start shrinking.
DP and I are from a Christian background, but are non practicing. I don't want to get DC baptised just to get him into a good school if we will not then live the faith.
When it comes to applying will we be discriminated against by the faith schools? If yes, is there any way we could be prioritised for one of the non faith schools even if outside the catchment or would we have to go to a less popular school further away?
Most faith schools also have community places which are not allocated on religious criteria. You should be able to check how places are allocated by looking online on LA website at the 2015 admissions data. As to other schools' priority criteria, again you would need to look those up but these are followed rigidly, with no discretion. Some areas use catchment , others distance from front door to school so if you put down the closest non Faith school for which those living nearby normally qualify you should at least be allocated a place there.
"When it comes to applying will we be discriminated against by the faith schools?"
Not necessarily. Check the entrance criteria. If VC, then 100% places are on community criteria, if VA criteria vary. You need to know what your specific schools specify; a generalised view of what can happen won't help.
"is there any way we could be prioritised for one of the non faith schools even if outside the catchment"
No. There is no provision in the Admissions code for non-VA schools to prioritise by faith, or for anyone to prioritise for non-faith. Do you have formal catchments (priority admissions areas) in your region at all? Not everywhere does. But if you do, you need to check how catchment interacts with other criteria, such as faith, siblings and (the commonest tie breaker) distance.
"or would we have to go to a less popular school further away?"
Possibly. More and more addresses seem to be in admissions black holes. So if, after checking (by how you fit the criteria, and which schools you'd neighbours children are really offered) you think you may be in one, at least with a couple of years in hand, you have time to think about moving.
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