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Future sibling admissions point for rare non-Catholic in Catholic primary school

(54 Posts)
ag123 Thu 14-Jul-16 20:27:36

Ds has recently been offered a place at a popular local catholic primary school for this coming September.

We are not Catholic and the school seem to think it is a rare 'low birth rate' year for the area.

It is noted in the current admissions document that for the past five years the school has not offered a place to anyone below category 4 in the admissions criteria (enclosed) so it is indeed a rare occurrence.

We are definitely accepting the place for ds but I have a question about our younger child...

I fully admit that I am getting ahead of myself as dd is currently 10 months, an end of August baby and would be due to start reception in September 2019

So, because of the fact there haven't been any non-Catholics in the school for so long, they evidently haven't found it necessary to address the issue of non-Catholic siblings in the admissions policy. My question is, do you think this gives more or less flexibility for 'discretion'..?

Before you think I'm asking something that I'm not, I fully accept that it is most likely that the school will admit Catholic children ahead of a non-Catholic sibling and I have taken the decision to send ds there despite this fact.

My question is, do you think there is any likelihood of a non-Catholic sibling being considered below category 4 in the enclosed admissions document? Should I expect them to refer to non-Catholic siblings in documents in future years? Is there any point in becoming particularly active in the PTA etc (though I plan to anyway) in order to show I fully support the Catholic ethos of the school?

RNBrie Thu 14-Jul-16 20:34:25

I think he would be 9) any other children and I doubt they'll make a concession as it would be against their own admissions policy. Have you asked the school? Do you know when/if they are reviewing their admissions policy?

LIZS Thu 14-Jul-16 20:36:52

There isn't a sibling link for non Catholics, so your younger dc would be treated same as a first or only child. There is no discretion. Of course the admissions policy could change in the intervening period.

MrPoppersPenguins Thu 14-Jul-16 20:46:21

Bit off topic but it was an undersubscribed year for all schools in our area too this year. And they're normally all oversubscribed!!

admission Thu 14-Jul-16 20:47:55

I agree you would be in category 9, which means that in all probability your younger sibling will not get a place at the school.
Having said that, if you younger child is only 10 months then by the time you get to this problem your elder child will be in year 3 and things might be very different.

ag123 Thu 14-Jul-16 21:13:30

Thank you for your replies

So do you think there is any likelihood of the school changing their admissions policy as a direct result of acknowledging they have a non-Catholic child in the school?

Just5minswithDacre Thu 14-Jul-16 21:22:18

My question is, do you think there is any likelihood of a non-Catholic sibling being considered below category 4

No. Highly unlikely all things considered.

Just5minswithDacre Thu 14-Jul-16 21:24:01

So do you think there is any likelihood of the school changing their admissions policy as a direct result of acknowledging they have a non-Catholic child in the school?

No. Why would they?

Neither their aims nor their enrolment demographic would point to it being necessary or desirable (for them).

QuackDuckQuack Thu 14-Jul-16 21:28:30

If you want your DD to go there then perhaps get her baptised Catholic. It's not something I would do, but clearly you are a bit open to the whole faith school thing, so it might not be beyond your comfort zone.

Girlsinthegarden Thu 14-Jul-16 21:29:44

We had this issue at school. There were lots of hasty conversions by the parents before the siblings were of age.

MrsJoeyMaynard Thu 14-Jul-16 21:33:43

It might be worth asking for clarification. I wouldn't expect them to change it to clarify the position on non-Catholic siblings unless someone asks about it. It might not help your younger child's position much though.

Most of the catholic schools near me give siblings priority within categories - so say a child was in category 9, their sibling would be ahead of other children in category 9 without a sibling, but still rank below all non-Catholic Christians and all children from other faith backgrounds.

hopinghopefullyagain Thu 14-Jul-16 21:33:43

I have sometimes been involved in admissions at our Catholic school. Your younger children would be category 9. Joining PTA or anything else to support the school will be of no consequence whatsoever and it's very unlikely that the admissions criteria would change. It's no help to you at all but I think it's quite unusual to have a criteria that makes no reference to siblings. Our criteria puts non Catholic siblings in category 6.

smellyboot Thu 14-Jul-16 21:47:00

Yonger child will be cat 9 and no, why would they change policy if they want Catholic and faith children before all others? It's very risky but you could always apply for DC2 and then appeal and beg on basis of wanting same school for younger sibling. Have local schools increased PAN so they are under subscribed this year but won't be in future? Or are you in an area where people have been moving away?
Three schools near us went to 3 form and a new school opened so they are spaces in several schools this year - but won't be in future.

awishes Thu 14-Jul-16 21:56:19

Very unlikely that anything will change and you joining PTA will have no bearing in the admissions process!
Only thing to guarantee a place for your DD is to change faith.
Why do you want your eldest to be the only non Catholic at the school?

Arkwright Thu 14-Jul-16 22:42:21

Non-catholic children siblings or not will always be low down on the admissions criteria. My Dd1's year was a low birth rate one. Two non-catholics got in. When the parents tried to get the siblings in they failed. They both appealed and lost. They both removed the older children to new schools. It is highly unlikely you will get your younger child in.

ag123 Fri 15-Jul-16 19:51:53

Thank you very much for your insight everyone.

It feels like the right thing to do as I am convinced it is the right kind of school for ds.

I regard us as a Christian family (CofE, though we don't go to church anywhere near as often as we should) but there are no really good CofE schools nearby.

It is our second closest school (still only 0.4 miles away) and whilst the closest (0.2 miles) is very well regarded and ofsted outstanding, it just never felt right for ds.

We are yet to discover what kind of school might suit dd best and will probably be able to get her into the well regarded closest school regardless since we live so near.

We often talk (mostly half-heartedly) about moving, possibly out of London so feel we don't know for certain what our circumstances will be in a few year's time.

Maybe in a funny roundabout kind of way ds going to this school might prompt me to explore a bit more about Catholicism anyway as a starting point ... There is also a well regarded Catholic girl's grammar school nearby <<shameful face x10>>

PotteringAlong Fri 15-Jul-16 19:54:00

At my son's school there are non-Catholic pupils with siblings who did not get a place this year as reception was filled with Catholics.

PotteringAlong Fri 15-Jul-16 19:54:31

Should also add those people have appealed and failed.

RapidlyOscillating Fri 15-Jul-16 19:59:02

I'd just get your youngest baptised quickly before she gets embarrassingly old to do so. Explain it's as a result of becoming involved in the school/ church community.

Happypeas Fri 15-Jul-16 20:05:27

I would just get your youngest baptised so she comes higher up the admissions list. Shameful but I would be best for your family.

Happypeas Fri 15-Jul-16 20:07:26

Our school has a similar admissions policy. But siblings are placed at the front of the list of each category so if you could get your dd into category 4 she possibly would be at the front and therefore would gain a place.

ag123 Sat 16-Jul-16 20:51:51

Thank you for your advice everyone.

The thing is, it's not just as easy as 'just getting her baptised' as neither dh nor I are Catholic so it would involve a full conversion for one/both of us.

This is going to take some serious consideration...maybe it's worth giving it a year to see how I feel firstly about the school and secondly about the Catholicism...

impossiblisimo Sat 16-Jul-16 21:59:24

We have a school locally that intermittently has a similar issue and parents have been encouraged by the council to apply for siblings under an exceptional social need category so they could be considered on a case by case basis by Governors (not sure if they were successful), but your school doesn't even have one of those categories.

So don't expect any special favours. The Archdiocese of Westminster work on the principle that no Catholic child should be denied a place at a Catholic School if possible, so make no mistake - your younger child will not be prioritised over any of the Catholic categories.

You'll just have to hope for another "low birth year" (in London??) or that the school has a bad Ofsted to make it less popular.

Arkwright Sat 16-Jul-16 22:07:46

My priest doesn't insist that the parents become catholic. He is happy to baptise anyone as long as they have two catholic godparents. He gets surprisingly busy just before school applications hmm

ag123 Sat 16-Jul-16 22:39:46

But what if she is already baptised c of e?

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