would like good secondary catholic school for my DS - does he need to go to primary catholic in order to get to secondary catholic?(8 Posts)
DS just got a place in a catholic school primary but 2 miles away and it is huge impact on our lives as we are oth working, so the logistics would be quite complicated - my mum helping, plus childminder...my husband needs to cut his hours at work any way (to do 4 days instead of 5) so this owuld mean 4 days childcare around school time and 1 day my husband woudl take him in a car. the reason we put catholic school is that we are catholics + we want him to get to a good catholic secondary school in the future. On the other hand there is CoE school 5 min way from my house ( which would not involve so much childcare around ( my mum would help, plus childminders but DS would spend more time in his familiar surroundings). Just thiking r to go on waiting lists in local CoE school because it would be less complicated with school runs and he woudl be ale o be home earlier rather than travelling 2 miles from catholic school ( still not sure if on a bus or I would find a childminder who could take him in car from school to our house)
By us, access to the catholic secondary school is about living & worshipping in the parish, then about attending catholic feeder schools. You would need to look at the admissions criteria for your particular school.
But I think the question you need to ask is whether you want your son to have a catholic education, or whether you want him to go to the good secondary school which happens to be catholic.
A lot can change in 7 years, including which are the good or not so good schools. Or indeed which school is the best fit for your DC.
If you are thinking of schools in London such as the Oratory or Cardinal Vaughn then they must attend a Catholic primary, these schools are so oversubscribed that this is one more needed point in the selection criteria.
A lot of the very popular Catholic secondary schools have quite strict criteria to get a place simply because so many Catholics apply and they have to whittle them down a bit.
Some examples of criteria would be: baptism before 6 months, weekly mass, First Holy Communion at the correct age and attending either any Catholic primary or named Catholic primaries i.e. feeder schools for the whole of primary education.
If you have particular secondary schools in mind, you can look at their admission criteria and see what is currently required to see if you would meet that criteria (eg if you have baptised your DS at age 3, there may be some schools you are already effectively excluded from) and decide from there if it is worth it.
The only things to bear in mind are that admission criteria can change. In the 6 years before you apply to secondary schools, any one of them could introduce a catchment area or a sibling priority that meant your child was nolonger in the top admission bracket. Equally the desirable schools now might not be the desirable schools in 7 years time.
I think it seems a lot of effort to go to in terms of travel and childcare but only you can decide if keeping open a possible chance at certain Catholic secondaries is important enough to devote 6 or 7 years to doing this.
Locally, children from Catholic feeder schools are given priority over other baptised Catholic children, but both have priority over non-catholic children.
Springforward - you are right. It totally depends on the schools you are applying to. There are dozens of variations on the faith criteria that Catholic schools around the country use. Some concentrate on baptism, some on attendance and some are strict on everything.
And it can change over time as well. So people who meet the criteria this year, may not meet it next year. The schools are allowed to change the requirements as they see fit (after a short consultation)
FWIW OP, we've just made a similar decision - DS is going to the good county primary school on our doorstep, rather than the good Catholic primary a couple of miles away. It just seemed to make more sense, identifying as RC is only one aspect of our lives and this made more sense to us in our daily routines. Plus, it was the school DS seemed to like most when we visited as he was really excited by the idea of walking to school on his own when he's a big boy.
It might mean he's lower down the list for the secondary, but then again we/ he might not feel the RC secondary is the best thing for him then anyway.
Some areas have "abolished" the system of feeder schools, so your chosen primary may not be a safe bet unless you also fulfill all the admission criteria for your chosen secondaries.
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