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Why do all the decent secondary schools in my area have to be bloody religious schools?

(153 Posts)
StaceeJaxx Sun 07-Oct-12 12:24:51


DD1 is in year 5 and we're starting to look at secondary schools. She's ASD and has an IEP and is on school action plus, so we're even more aware that the school she goes to has to be the right one.

DH and I aren't in the slightest bit religious at all. I was brought up Catholic but I'm now an atheist. We've brought the dds up to just make their own judgement on God. When dd1 started primary school I was adamant that I wasn't going to start going to church just so she could get into a decent primary. Thankfully the school she goes to doesn't require church attendance.

Now we're looking at secondary schools and all the good ones are religious schools! The rest are complete sink schools that I wouldn't send my worst enemy too. So we're going to have to start going to church every Sunday if we want her to have a decent secondary education. Goes against all my principles, and pisses me off so much, but don't know what else I can do?

Rant over. blush

TalkinPeace2 Thu 11-Oct-12 19:07:56

in parts on London children have the choice of lying or a 50 minute journey to a sink school.
That does not seem much of a "choice" to me.

Whereas if all schools had equal entrance criteria there would not be the religious segregation and lack of social mobility that are creeping across the land.

StaceeJaxx Thu 11-Oct-12 19:09:34

Exactly TalkinPeace2, well said!

donnie Thu 11-Oct-12 19:10:46

ok then Stacee I accept you are not slagging them off per se. If you reread your thread title though, you might perceive its rather pejorative tenor.

Anyway whatever people think, religious schools are not in any danger of disappearing in the next few years and I as a parent who actively brings her children up with a faith, am glad and relieved.

Himalaya Thu 11-Oct-12 19:11:41

Yes i am insulted (if that is the right word) by state services discriminating on the basis of religion.

Some people want to go to religious schools because it is their local school, some because it has a particular academic speciality or they like the school or because they think it would be the best place for their child's SEN.

Personally I wouldn't. But I think it is shocking that state services are allowed to discriminate this way. Many of our hospitals were historically religious foundations, but I would be insulted (wouldn't you?) if they started sending Muslims, atheists and the non church attenders to the end of the line. I dont see why it is acceptable in the education sector but unacceptable in healthcare.

TalkinPeace2 Thu 11-Oct-12 20:02:28

You are very welcome to bring your children up in any faith you like.
But for six hours a day, five days a week, thirty days a year, all children should be equal.
If parents want a religious education, they are welcome to go and pay for it.
But all selective schools exclude and deny opportunity to the deserving.

AngelEyes46 Thu 11-Oct-12 22:43:24

I am assuming that those that don't agree with faith schools also don't agree with selective schools on ability or independent?!

TalkinPeace2 Thu 11-Oct-12 22:47:36

indeed I am utterly against academic selection in taxpayer funded schools.

The independent sector is for the teeny part of the country who can afford it - and is often a reaction to the insanity in state school admission systems.

homework Thu 11-Oct-12 22:55:42

Hi just wondered what area of Liverpool your talking about . When I looked around school a couple of years back , my child also has some sen needs . We found that a lot of school that people say are poor have actually turned themselves around . Please look at a lot of different school , go with an open mind and speak to the senco to see what they offer in support for your child . Sometimes the school may have improved a lot but seem to keep a bad rep just because of where they are situated and there's nothing they can do about that . I personally also think we lucky in Liverpool that so many of our school got rebuilt before the program stopped . Remember you can look over boarders , I live in one brough and my child goes to secondary school in another .

homework Thu 11-Oct-12 23:07:32

If you don't want to say openly you can pm me and I tell you about the schools we look at and there was ten of them . All different faiths , we where looking for best deal sen wise. Which was more important to us than faith. We a very mixed faith family .

Shagmundfreud Fri 12-Oct-12 00:20:18

Angel - schools that select on the basis of ability are equally accessible to clever children from all faiths.

And I think you'll find it's the CHILDREN'S intellect they're interested in, not the parents'.

Faith schools on the other hand base their selection on the parent's faith, not the child's.

It would be fairer if they ignored the parents church going and instead focused on how religious the child is.

ICantStandLosing Fri 12-Oct-12 01:03:06

It might be too late to start attending church. Where I live you have to have at least 2 years' attendance when you apply, ie you have to start attending at the start of year4.

BooksandBrunch Fri 12-Oct-12 09:25:49

@Talkin2peace - Must admit, I'm a bit confused by what your saying also. My siblings are aged 55, 53, 50 and 48 and all attended separate catholic schools. They've been around for donkey years. Where I lived in SE London there were tons of church schools for many years of all denominations. Where specifically has there been this massive increase?

Are you more referring to the fact that his kids, along with many other politicians kids, attended a highly sought after catholic school and therefore raised the profile of them? Just stabbing at a guess.

BooksandBrunch Fri 12-Oct-12 09:46:35

LOL...Ignore my post. Just realised there was a next page and you went into greater detail theresmile

DialMforMummy Fri 12-Oct-12 09:51:48

I agree that discrimination on the basis of religion is incomprehensible.
They don't discriminate the tax payer's money that goes into their budget though, do they? The fact that people feel that they have to cheat the system by going to church when they don't believe makes me very angry. I am not angry at the people, but more at the system itself.
I don't feel quite the same way about selective education although I feel that an entrance test that could not be tutored for would bring more equality.

CelticPromise Fri 12-Oct-12 10:04:54

I'm Catholic and DS is baptised and will be going to the local Catholic primary, which is our nearest school, if he gets in. Despite this I'm against religious schools altogether- yes it's handy for me that he will be taught about RC faith at school but it is open to me to do it myself! All children should go to their nearest school, possibly subject to a bit of balancing to ensure a social/academic mix. I'm choosing the best option for DS within the current system, but I think the system is stupid. So I'm with you OP, it's a crazy situation, and there should not be any sink schools full stop.

homework Fri 12-Oct-12 10:30:25

My question is why do people say a school is a sink school if they never stepped in the building . School change many work very hard for there pupils . Not every school has a good rep and these school do tend to take a lot of children from poorer areas . That's like saying just because you don't have the money to live in a nice area of the city your a horrible person . Everyone wants the best for there children on the main . There's good and bad everywhere , you may find that a so called sink school would help , support and be more compassionate to your daughters needs than some of the high flying schools in Liverpool. This isn't London most parents about 95 % get there first choice here and nearly everyone gets one of there three choices . Only when you put down three school you have got no chance of getting into does it cause a problem . Also there are I sink schools in all faiths in people's eyes , mostly on previous reps or where school are situated in the city. My response is look round the schools .

DialMforMummy Fri 12-Oct-12 11:10:51

A sink school IMO is: poor exam results, poor reputation, poor behaviour of children, high turnover of staff, poor Ofsted report.
Most of it you can judge (not always reliably, granted) without stepping in the school.

TalkinPeace2 Fri 12-Oct-12 13:22:45

:-) Books and Brunch

homework Sink schools - the figures speak volumes when you are used to reading such things, and driving past the door at kicking out time tells you even more.
AND schools that are selective by religion should be stopped (and sorry but that includes the Catholic schools unless they want to go fee paying)
AND Academies that are run on Evangelical Christian Lines - even though they do not select - should be forced to publicly admit that they are not inclusive.

I do NOT advocate the banning of RE in schools (as is done in the USA)
as I utterly believe that compulsory RE lessons are the BEST way to encourage atheism.
BUT that every school should have to teach about all religion and belief systems as equal fairy stories.

If you want other than that for your kid, do it in the other hours of the day, or pay.

homework Fri 12-Oct-12 15:58:51

Every school has some children whose behaviour you could call in question at kicking out time , even the best schools in the area . That isn't just sink school . Most school have worked hard at improving there results in Liverpool . There are very few schools here who haven't improved over time and in the whole city can only think of a hand full that get truly offal results . Most schools in Liverpool put a lot of hard work into there pupils and offer a lot of other opportunities . Not every child will pass loads of exams . I agree that every child should have a good school to go to , and loads of school especially in Liverpool are trying to offer this to there pupils , and I'm not a teacher .

TalkinPeace2 Fri 12-Oct-12 16:07:25

I do not know about Liverpool schools, I'm at the other end of the country. BUT. Its less a behaviour thing than an attitude thing. The tidal wave of kids coming out of my DCs school is VERY intimidating - but it is good natured. Others are not and the staff do not care. THAT is what marks out a sink school.

homework Fri 12-Oct-12 18:36:55

My child school isn't religious , more because we where looking for a school that would support the child with there learning . Not saying that there hasn't been any problems , there have , it's taken time to get support in correctly to where my child most needs it . Also allowing for them to have some independence , whilst still being encouraged to achieve . My child in one of the lower set and there are times that other children can be disruptive but according to there friends this happens in there school also and there in top sets. Some children like to be disruptive weather there in the best school in Liverpool or there most local school . Every school will have some problems , it's how they respond to these that matters not what faith a school happens to be. You can only judge another school by looking round , seeing what's on offer , speaking to both the kids and there parents , and if your lucky enough to have time going back the following year to see if and what has changed. Grades can and do get inflated by schools and ofsted means little more than the paper it's wrote on. Your own judgement should mean more to you and if you like a school make appointment to go back and look another time . When there not putting on a show , a good school shouldn't have a problem with this , they may ask you not to visit on an exam day for disturbing those children , but this also gives you time to watch for behaviour as no doubt your cover at least one break . If there unhappy to do this I would then wonder why .

AngelEyes46 Fri 12-Oct-12 20:19:47

Shagmund - focusing on how religious the child is would go back to about 10 years ago when school were allowed to interview. I was interviewed (many moons ago) and I don't remember it being too bad but I'm still not sure whether it's a good thing

StaceeJaxx Fri 12-Oct-12 20:39:31

homework have PMed you.

TBH I couldn't give a flying fig about exam results, or league tables etc. For me it's all about the behaviour and attitude of the pupils, the way the school treats the kids and the ethos of the school.

homework Fri 12-Oct-12 22:40:18

StaceeJaxx have pm you back , sorry about lateness of time we where doing science homework on my child's computer . Lots of homework this weekend .

kerrygrey Sat 13-Oct-12 06:15:15

TalkinPeace3 - "I utterly believe that compulsory RE lessons are the BEST way to encourage atheism."

This is so very true! I remember RE lessons at school and becoming vehemently anti-religion because I hated what we were taught there (and the teacher) It was some years before I could again consider religion in a reasonable frame of mind.
Perhaps atheist parents who worry about indoctrination should take heart..

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