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Challenging admission criteria (LAC)

(9 Posts)
Maiyakat Thu 07-Mar-19 16:21:06

Our local Catholic school has an admissions policy which prioritises all Catholic children over non-Catholic LAC and adopted children. This goes against the advise of the Diocese, who state that no distinction should be made between Catholic and non Catholic LAC. I am wanting to challenge this policy (prior to applying in a few years). Does anyone know who I should be contacting in the school in order to do this? Would they have an admissions officer or would it be the Governors? Thank you!

OP’s posts: |
Lougle Thu 07-Mar-19 16:49:06

Unfortunately, they are within their rights to do this, as per the School Admissions Code clause 1.37:

"1.37 Admission authorities must ensure that parents can easily understand how any faith-based criteria will be reasonably satisfied. Admission authorities for schools designated with a religious character may give priority to all looked after children and previously looked after children whether or not of the faith, but they must give priority to looked after children and previously looked after children of the faith before other children of the faith. Where any element of priority is given in relation to children not of the faith they must give priority to looked after children and previously looked after children not of the faith above other children not of the faith."

This means that they can prioritise all children of the faith, then within that prioritise LAC of the faith, before applying criteria to children not of the faith, again prioritising LAC not of the faith.

JiltedJohnsJulie Thu 07-Mar-19 16:53:29

Before you challenge the criteria, do you know roughly how many non-catholic children they take in each year and are you in a low or high birth rate year?

BananaDaiquiri Thu 07-Mar-19 17:27:15

I think that's what most Catholic schools do, in effect taking only Catholic LAC. Most Catholics schools around our area only admit Catholic children as they are oversubscribed and never get down to the non-Catholic criteria.

Maiyakat Thu 07-Mar-19 18:06:47

Lougle I know they're within their rights to do this (although if I ever have the time or energy I would like to start a campaign about that part of the code!). I was hoping to appeal to the school's better nature given that they're not doing what their own Diocese recommends. I may be deluded that there is any hope of this!

Jilted No non Catholic children admitted for the past 3 years, average birth rate year, so if things continue as they are no chance of a place unless the rules change.

OP’s posts: |
JiltedJohnsJulie Thu 07-Mar-19 18:07:48

* so if things continue as they are no chance of a place unless the rules change*, well unless you convert that is smile

TeenTimesTwo Thu 07-Mar-19 19:55:43

I too think it is a shame the admissions code allows this.

I'd write to the governors quoting the diocese guidance and asking them in the name of Christian fair mindedness to change their priorities. Maybe quoting any other local-ish Catholic schools that do put non faith LAC at the top might help?

otoh, If they effectively accept only Catholic children, how 'different' would this make your adopted/LAC child feel when they might already be feeling different?

Maiyakat Thu 07-Mar-19 20:12:09

Teen I do have that concern, especially as a lot of the children will have been at the same feeder primary schools. Just wish the other local secondaries were better!

OP’s posts: |
SnowyAlpsandPeaks Fri 08-Mar-19 10:38:05

Does your dc go to a catholic primary school?

If not, and your children was admitted, and they take only catholic children (you said no none catholic’s had been admitted). If the school has mass like our school does- How would your dc feel when they are having mass and all taking communion for example except for them? All know when to sit, stand etc during mass? Are they aware of all the catholic mass’ that take place throughout the year and why? And so on. All the children will have been brought up with this from primary school and attending church.

The reason I ask is not to be picky, but a friend managed to get her dc into my sons cathlic secondary school- I’ve had so many phone calls asking ‘why do they do xyz’, and her daughter found it really difficult that other children ‘automatically knew things- saints, prayers, different events important in the Christian calendar etc, and she felt like things were not explained because everyone else was brought up with it and knew the answers.

My Friend said although it’s the best school in the area, she wished she had put her in a catholic primary school now or had sent her to a non cathlic high school. As she feels that she’s spent too much time worrying about things related to faith, because she doesn’t know what to do during mass, she didn’t know all the different prayers in assembly, and also struggled with hymns as some example. All of which is minor, but to a child, I guess she felt ‘different’ to everyone else. (Personally I think it doesn’t make much difference and kids soon get the hang of it, which is my argument to her, but she sees things very differently, so I’m just giving a view of a non catholic parent).

As an example she was asked to say a certain prayer in their Year assembly, and came home crying, because she did not know the prayer. Something so simple, but caused lots of tears and being sent home ‘sick’. She should have just told her teacher, but she was to worried to admit she didn’t know it.

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