Oversubscribed Catholic primary school

(59 Posts)
GlobalTrotter Sun 19-Jul-20 12:17:15

Originally neither me no my DH are from the UK, we have different background, languages and religious origins. DH is unbelieving Jew, I’m unbelieving Eastern Christian. We both believe in Good or Universe in general, without practicing any specific religious.

We have 24 weeks old baby, and we are living literally next door to one of the best (academically) primary school in London, it’s Roman Catholic.

Now we are considering to baptise our baby as a Catholic and our close friend, who is really practicing Catholic many years, will be his god Mather.

Would be a problem for us
1. Receive the place without attending the church? Usually school is oversubscribed of course, from 3 years up to 11 it’s only 280 pupils.
2. Or If only me, as a christian originally, would attend the church with a child let’s say once a month?
3. Would it be relationship with school or other parents difficult in our case?

I asked myself do I really wish my child to believe? I found it as an additional piece and feeling safe in a childhood. I had not it in my childhood and it was hard and scare to knew first time that my parents will die, ect.
The secondary school I would consider non religious independent school. So it will be more personal choice for child at that time.

My oldest son was baptized as eastern Christian, and was visiting church regularly up to ten years old with his father’s family. After he was in non religious primary and after in CoEf boarding school. When he was 15yo he choose to be a Christian Buddhist, where he sees Buddhism as philosophy, and continuing like this already five years.

Thank you all in advance for advices and opinions.

OP’s posts: |
LouiseTrees Sun 19-Jul-20 14:27:28

1. I wouldn’t do this. 2. Yeh sounds fine. 3. No there would be no bother with them if you did option 2.

Aquicknamechange2019 Sun 19-Jul-20 14:30:16

The school's website will tell you exactly what the admissions criteria are for a faith place.

Xenia Sun 19-Jul-20 14:32:59

Depenmds onthe school. On the one our daughter nearly went to (she got into Haberdashers at 4 instead - private school) we are Catholics and she was baptised at about 3 weeks old which is something some churches check - how early the baptism has been and also went to mass every Sunday and on Holy Days of obligation and finally you also had to show a contributoin to the life of the church, not just turn up at mass at that church and her father plays the organ for them regularly so she got a place on that basis but we rejected it for the private school. However go to my mother's Catholic parish in Newcastle (NE England) where the church there was not in a prosperous part only a third of the children at the primary school are Catholics and I suspect they struggle to fill the places.

IHateCoronavirus Sun 19-Jul-20 14:33:13

Our local RC school requires a letter from parish priest

AuditAngel Sun 19-Jul-20 14:34:06

Often Catholic schools allow Eastern Orthodox within the admissions criteria, I know both schools mine attend do, but I don’t remember how they are set out.

Usually regular attendance is a requirement for a school place, especially where schools are oversubscribed. Again, this will be set out in the admissions criteria,

UncleShady Sun 19-Jul-20 14:39:46

It totally depends on the admission criteria for that school. Our local one has baptised RC child of a parent that has regular (4 times a month) mass attendance for 18 months before form signing as #2 criteria behind LAC etc children. You can see on the council website which criteria children were accepted from in previous years.


GlobalTrotter Sun 19-Jul-20 15:05:05

Admission criteria are usual

1. Catholic ‘looked after’ children and Catholic children who have been adopted or made subject to child arrangements or special guardianship orders.
2. Catholic children with a Certificate of Catholic Practice, of permanent teaching staff who have been teaching at the school for at least two years at the time of application.
3. Catholic children with a Certificate of Catholic Practice.
4. Other baptised Catholic children
5. Looked after children and other children who have been adopted (or subject to child
arrangements order or special guardianship orders) immediately following having been looked
6. Children of catechumens and members of the Eastern Christian Church.
7. Any other children.

In Local group on FB Is mentioned that this school rarely or never went lower than #3....

OP’s posts: |
GlobalTrotter Sun 19-Jul-20 15:08:34


Often Catholic schools allow Eastern Orthodox within the admissions criteria, I know both schools mine attend do, but I don’t remember how they are set out.

Usually regular attendance is a requirement for a school place, especially where schools are oversubscribed. Again, this will be set out in the admissions criteria,

I don’t feel myself as Eastern Orthodox, never been a believer.
And even I would, this school according to FB local parents group never went even up to simply baptized Catholic....

Maybe now, after Brexit the situation will change...

OP’s posts: |
MalificentJones Sun 19-Jul-20 15:12:36

I think you would properly have to go to church in order to make this a success. Especially as your baby is already five and a half months old. It’s already looking like you are just doing it for a place (which you are) so drifting in to church once a month is not going to cut it.

GlobalTrotter Sun 19-Jul-20 15:51:21


I think you would properly have to go to church in order to make this a success. Especially as your baby is already five and a half months old. It’s already looking like you are just doing it for a place (which you are) so drifting in to church once a month is not going to cut it.

COVID 19 is the answer why we did not do anything up to now. Our god mother was self isolated because of her husband who is over 70.

OP’s posts: |
Alexandernevermind Sun 19-Jul-20 16:03:33

Like others said you will have to attend church regularly on order to have your child baptised. The priest is likely to want at least one parent to convert and be baptised before he baptises your child. The thing to remember is that catholic schools have a strong catholic ethos, which sounds obvious, but some parents moan endlessly about the (beautiful) parades and services the children attend during the school day. They WILL be taught creationism and if they go to a Catholic senior school RE GCSE is mandatory. May poles are replaced by Holy Mother parades and Halloween is replaced by an All Saints service where children can take a flower to remember lost relatives. Remember that faith schools have less funding than other schools and the school will ask for an Additonal Voluntary Contribution, usually £10/£20 per month. There are no I Pads or laptops given out at Catholic schools and play facilities are limited to skipping ropes and balls.

JaniceBattersby Sun 19-Jul-20 16:10:40

@Alexandernevermind most of that is completely untrue for the Catholic school I attended and the separate Catholic school my children attend.

OP, my priest would not baptise a child if neither of the parents were catholic. Also the certificate of Catholic practice will most likely mean you will have to attend every week for several years.

Alexandernevermind Sun 19-Jul-20 16:13:57

@JaniceBattersby I guess that's the good thing about Mumsnet, we all have different experiences. It probably differs from priest to priest- or these days academy trust. Its certainly the case where mine are.

Didkdt Sun 19-Jul-20 16:18:21

@Alexandernevermind is right you can't just rock up and ask for a Baptism if you and and your husband have no inclination towards practicing the faith and no tipping up once a month doesn't count as practicing.
If you are that close to the best school in the country as you put it, it probably adds a premium to your property value that you can then sell and use to buy a cheaper house and afford school fees.
Catholic schools are Catholic funding is a complex mix of sources but there success is often built on the staff and families and Catholic community working together. It isn't that the children are more clever than other religions or that Catholics are richer they aren't, it's that as with other successful schools they all come together as a community to pursue the success of a strong and important part of that community

DeliaOwens Sun 19-Jul-20 16:32:01

OP, as a practising Catholic, I can tell you our parish would not baptise a child if neither parent was not also a practising catholic. The parish closest to you might be different. My experience of a Certificate of Catholic practice is that the Parish Priest will only sign it, if you are a member of the congregation who attends mass each week for several years prior to the request for the certificate. Catholicism in terms of education/getting a place in a school in England is not à la carte. You take it all, or none and you attend mass on holy days of obligation as well as weekly mass and other celebrations in the liturgical calendar.
This will be a lifelong (at least the length of your child's education), so think long and hard about that kind of commitment.

concernedforthefuture Sun 19-Jul-20 16:34:25

It's possibly worth noting that a lot can change in 4 years. An outstanding, high-performing school in 2020 could be quite average by 2024 (if the leadership or staff change significantly, for example). And that not all children suit all schools, no matter how good they are.
If you are not practicing Catholic you will have to make a big commitment over the next 4 years to live your lives as though you were Catholic just to get in to the school. Then once you get a place, if you don't live the Catholic life, your child will very likely feel quite left out. It's not just during school time, it's Sundays, Holy Days etc. It's a lot to take on and a bit strange if that's not your way of life.

newphoneswhodis Sun 19-Jul-20 16:57:45

I'd be really pissed off if I lost out on a place at a school as a practicing catholic for someone who was 'pretending' to be religious. It's not fair on children of the religion.
My daughters school required a letter from the parish priest stating that my daughter attended weekly.
You also need to be aware of how religious the school is. It varies. Will your child be taking part is masses? making holy communion with their peers? Etc.

GlobalTrotter Sun 19-Jul-20 21:11:48

I would not mention the baptize If it would not be discussed in advance with the priest by our friend. In advance - during the pregnancy.

OP’s posts: |
GlobalTrotter Sun 19-Jul-20 21:17:16

I mentioned me attending the church once a month, not my child. My child would attend more often the church with the god mother. In this case, sorry, I do not see unfairness to other kids attending weekly.
My question was how it would be for us, parents with very different background to be in the school.
The child will grow up as a Catholic in this case, which we both, as a parents don’t mind on this stage.

OP’s posts: |
Didkdt Sun 19-Jul-20 21:25:43

Catholicism is part and parcel of family life it's a part of a family identity even when one parent is of a different faith. You can't parcel it out to others.
I'm baffled by your approach
How will you approach first holy communion.
How will you explain Catholicism is for her not you?
It's bonkers

GlobalTrotter Sun 19-Jul-20 21:25:45

This is the closest school, as possible, to our home, and if it would not became the worst, I would prefer for 3-4 years old not to spend half an hour in a bus or other public transportation.
My oldest child was in private education from primary. It is enough for me.

OP’s posts: |
Didkdt Sun 19-Jul-20 21:28:38

Your husband is agnostic Jewish, you are Orthodox Christian ish your first child is Buddhist who in the family will your daughter relate to when discussing life the universe and everything

MalificentJones Sun 19-Jul-20 21:37:31

I’ve taught in a Catholic primary school and it was an absolutely lovely school.

However, RE was a core subject and so had four hours of curriculum time a week. Maths and English ‘take up’ every morning so that leaves an hour and forty five minutes in the afternoons.

Four hours are needed for RE so all of the other subjects need to be crammed in to one full afternoon and four forty five minute lessons

In order it fit everything else in RE has to be in the other subjects or there is just no time. So RE will be in art, history geography and music. Otherwise there just isn’t the time.

GlobalTrotter Sun 19-Jul-20 21:37:56

Yes, it is what I’m thinking about
Child cannot practice alone at these age. So for me it is question, would I be able to do with a child, can it be part of our life.
What kind of part...
For my DH it is easier, he was fascinated from the childhood with the story of a polish jew who started to work with nazi in Poland and saved life of several hundreds Jews, after convert to Catholicism, and was chosen to be a monk at that time by priest to be a monk instead of the current Pope, later hi moved to Israel and founded there catholic mess in Hebrew.
For me it is not a question of pretending, I hate to lie, it’s a question of acceptance

OP’s posts: |

Join the discussion

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.

Join Mumsnet

Already have a Mumsnet account? Log in