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Clegg jnr to go to state-funded comp

(142 Posts)
LondonMother Mon 04-Mar-13 16:13:06

Just an ordinary state school, after all the talk - he's going to the London Oratory. wink

Are they still doing their dodgy interviewing, which Ruth Kelly waved through for them when she was Sec of State for Education?

tiggytape Tue 05-Mar-13 19:01:51

ubik - it may be true that some people stretch (invent) a faith to meet the criteria for a church school but this is probably less the case with Catholic Schools. If anything strict Catholic schools are less open to admission converts because they require early baptism, Holy Communion and other faith criteria that parents cannot rush to meet a year or two in advance. Maybe there are some people who plan school admissions from the day their child is conceived, but generally people who meet the ridiculously strict criteria of some Catholic schools are genuinely practicing Catholics.

Whatever your views on any faith, many people truly believe and it forms a central part of their lives. Many people want a faith education for their children and they have this choice because faith schools existed before community schools did - community schools were built to plug the gaps.

I agree with you though that, because of school place shortages, the issue of faith schools has become more divisive. I have no problem with people choosing a faith school or a community school for their child but too many parents now don't get a choice. When the nearest comp is a faith school that won't admit them (yet they qualify for no other school either being too far away) or when the only state option that exists is a very religious church schools, then I do think this is harder to accept.
When school places weren't so strethed, people could choose to seek out or avoid faith schools according to their beliefs but now some people are denied this choice and are very unhappy with their options.

KateShrub Tue 05-Mar-13 19:15:21

When it comes to parents in London, I'm afraid all bets (if that is not a sin) are off. There are people tutoring from age 5 for 11+ tests, pre-registration waiting lists for tutors.

Hell Heck, there are private schools that require you to put your child's name down at an early age and they cost thousands, and when you consider that in fact London Catholic primary schools are also very desirable and require priest's references and so on, it's really not hard to see that Catholic-for-free-education is a rational choice even from the age of 2 or 3 months.

Copthallresident Tue 05-Mar-13 19:32:04

<Though I hesitate to put my head above the parapet after last nights savaging> I agree with Kate with reference to London, the Catholic Primaries around here have changed in character just in the time since my DDs first started school 15 years ago. They used to have a much more mixed intake but now are heavily oversubscribed and have some of the lowest FSM in the country, indeed in one case the lowest FSM, though next door to a community primary with ten times the percentage on FSM. I don't think there has been a huge surge in genuine or strategic conversions amongst the middle classes though I am sure Catholics are amongst the huge influx of parents and parents to be attracted by successful Primaries but at the same time every year for the last fifteen hundreds of parents find themselves without a primary school place, sometimes even after term starts. You can not blame parents who may have baptised their child to please the family, as we did, then making the decision to flex their Catholicism to access a Catholic Primary as we could have done.... Anecdotally I know this is not uncommon.

guineapiglet Tue 05-Mar-13 19:37:07

Nick Clegg is also an MP in Sheffield. He might have got more kudos if he had chosen to send all his kids to schools in an area he' supposedly' represents - lots of excellent schools there and it would have kept him and his family in touch with the electorate he 'supposedly' champions

< yes Sheffield I hear you ( and I love you!) - you dont want him either>

Llareggub Tue 05-Mar-13 19:37:44

There are 16 different nationalities in my son's year 1 class alone. The HT said there at least 6 different faiths including my own lack of faith.

scottishmummy Tue 05-Mar-13 19:41:29

Like all politicians hes used privilege and power to his advantage
Disgusting given he's self avowed atheist,except til school and privilege
All his right on stuff is ok for ud plebs but for his own child

Copthallresident Tue 05-Mar-13 19:42:08

It has also been interesting to speak to expats from Catholic countries who have secular education systems, such as Italy and Poland, who arrive here and are shocked by the system. They too just want to access a decent education and though they find it shocking do what they have to to..............

KateShrub Tue 05-Mar-13 19:54:38

FSMs are not the key benchmark here I think.

The issue for me is that their selection procedures exclude low-achieving children, which allows them to focus all of their resources on high/middle-achieving children.

The Oratory is in terms of ability profile, a grammar school (albeit not a super-selective one).

People commute/apply to London's grammar schools from all over London, and the same thing happens at the Oratory; as Copthallresident says, there are plenty of people who qualify, like the Cleggs, who aren't local, but will apply to the Oratory because it's an elitist selective school with all that goes with that (higher academic expectations, more intellectual extra-curricular activities (Programming Club, Euclidean Society, etc.)).

London is so densely populated that it's probably true that a good proportion of the Oratory applicants are genuinely Catholic, BUT that doesn't take into account the fact that they have applied to the Oratory ahead of other much closer schools.

Youthink Tue 05-Mar-13 19:55:11

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

bamboostalks Tue 05-Mar-13 19:59:18

How does the selection criteria exclude low achieving children? KateShrub

CloudsAndTrees Tue 05-Mar-13 20:17:16

Nick Clegg is doing what any other parent would do - sending his child to the school he thinks will be best for them out the ones he has access to. Thats all. It's a non issue.

Youthink Tue 05-Mar-13 20:19:36

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ll31 Tue 05-Mar-13 20:25:49

have to say i think where he sends his children should be his private business, more particularly his childrens private business.. i think probably most parents can be hypocritical when it comes to their beliefs versus their childrens best interests..

KateShrub Tue 05-Mar-13 20:28:41

bamboostalks, I'm sure you could write an essay on how these criteria work to exclude low-achieving children, but the undeniable fact is that they do.


2 low-attaining children out of 178

You could come up with different criteria that had the same effect, but these criteria undoubtedly exclude low achieving children.

KateShrub Tue 05-Mar-13 20:47:10

Clegg said (here):

" Many parents want to send their children to schools that are run by faith groups or have a faith ethos, and many of those schools are really excellent. Some, including ones in my constituency in Sheffield, do a lot to reach out to other communities and promote inclusion – which I think is hugely important, and more faith schools should make that kind of effort. I'm not hostile to faith schools at all, but I want to make sure they are engines of inclusion/tolerance, not segregation or intolerance."

However he proved this was bollocks by choosing the most segregated Catholic school in Britain.

mam29 Tue 05-Mar-13 20:51:37

Im outside london but read how stressful schools are.

Sadly bristols no better.

I thourght oratory was private as remember the blairs go there.

Miriam is spanish so predominantly roman catholic country.

I non rc from non rc family

we chose to send eldest to smallish roman catholic primary.

she was baptised coe at home parish where grew up and attended.

She was undersubscibed year so have no idea if made a difference.

It had even 50/50 mix I would say not everyone was rc.

It did have high%english as 2nd language due to polish kids not sure if that caused extra pressure.

mostly the faith schools here have better results.

our la has no rc secondry but the nearest one is one of top secondrys in our city so cant blame some for jumping through hoops but clegg has wealth so never has to play that game.

From what i heard an spoken to rc parents cant get their kids into the secondry even if baptised, holy communion, rc primary attend chirch as oversubscribed and takes from such a wide area.

I have freind whos non rc who kidding herself she can get her 7year old baptised and into rc secondry.

But I told her its yera long conversio cause to become roman catholic then she needs to get child baptised think catholisms harder to join to be honest more so than coe.

I admit im prepared to go coe church more to get kids onto the top performing and only coe faith secondry.

shes left the rc school and moved to coe but coes admissions at primary here are distance not faith.

Looking at where faitrh schools situated affleunt areas it will always be full of mostly middleclass as its harder to get into..

wonder what year daves eldest starts seniors shes in coe primary
I guess child security is important factor too.

bamboostalks Tue 05-Mar-13 20:51:48

Yes but how? The data shows they have few low achievers but how does the selection criteria engineer that exactly?

YorkshireTeaDrinker Tue 05-Mar-13 21:14:00

What CloudsAndTrees said. wink

Smudging Tue 05-Mar-13 21:20:34

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

KateShrub Tue 05-Mar-13 21:26:09

There are many reasons. One would be that the rules are so complicated that those who are able to comply with are disproportionately going to be parents who are concerned about their children's education, and this group is going to include very few low attainers.

Another would be that requiring baptism before 6 months, regular mass attendance, voluntary activities, and so on, excludes children from unstable backgrounds, who are the most likely not to achieve at school.

CloudsAndTrees Tue 05-Mar-13 21:37:57

Despite my earlier comment, I have read the thread with interest, but I am honestly struggling to understand why it matters where Nic Clegg's child goes to school.

What difference does it make to anyone else?

merrymouse Tue 05-Mar-13 21:52:38

Because if state schools aren't good enough for politicians' children (and they decide on educational policy), why would anybody else have any confidence in the state system?

Also, I think many lib dems are against faith schools. (Can't remember if it is an actual party policy).

merrymouse Tue 05-Mar-13 21:54:55

Here we go.

Of course, that manifesto was back in 2010. Who knows what they believe now.

StoicButStressed Tue 05-Mar-13 22:00:01

Have just scan read thread as exhausting and rough day. To me is VEREEE simple:

1 - I DO believe and understand that Miriam (Spanish) and Nick (English and not as devout as Miriam) IS a 'proper' Catholic - IE NOT the 'convenient Catholic. Ergo have no issue at all with their DCs following an appropriate Faith School route if qualify.

2 - Blairs boys went to London Oratory - utter piss take on every family DESP to get THEIR DC into a half decent school.

3 - Anyone who thinks the Oratory has not been overrun by rich enough to live within travel distance (av. price for small house c.£700K?) AND the time TO polish the Silver/flower arranging in the few - uber strategic parentally - years before application is, frankly, deluded.

And ALL of that matters as ALL of OUR DC's deserve a decent bloody education.

Super8 Tue 05-Mar-13 22:03:58

Copthall, I think your posts are pretty spot on. Ya need sharp elbows in my parish to even get on the cleaning/polishing the silver rota…never mind the flower arranging rota….i think you need a phd or similar to be allowed to take part in anything more “intellectual” such as liturgy…and you need to be very confident to push yourself into these sometimes unwelcoming groups…ya gotta be the right kinda catholic.

I grew up in a catholic country… I never ever heard or “knew” that you must baptise your baby by six months….Talk about not knowing about the bloody hoops. My daughter goes to a rc school in south London…we’ve just gone through secondary transfer…the well educated middle class parents kids off to the elite rc secondaries…the rest well they are off to the local rc secondary with mediocre results.

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