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Non Catholic working in a Catholic School?

(24 Posts)
MrsDeaconClaybourne Mon 10-Jun-19 12:08:43

Anyone in this position able to give me any advice? I'm about to apply for a job and not sure what to say. I'm not a practising Christian but was brought up attending Church and am curious about faith and beliefs - I did the Alpha Course recently and attend Church from time to time. Don't want to say anything hypocritical but obviously want to come across as positive about working there.

Any other comments about how you find working there as a non Catholic would also be much appreciated. smile

OP’s posts: |
ClarkeMurphy Mon 10-Jun-19 14:15:43

It depends on the school really. Are you primary or secondary? I've found in secondary school the religion only really involves form time or the RE department. At my last school we had to do daily prayer in form time. I'm Catholic so it was easy, but I know a couple of atheist colleagues found it hard to come up with prayers every day.

MrsDeaconClaybourne Mon 10-Jun-19 14:29:57

Thank you. I'm primary. I'm imagining daily assembly, prayers etc all of which I'm fine with. i'm just wondering how they'll feel about me - I'm not an atheist but not practising either so don't want to seem like I'm faking!

OP’s posts: |
ClarkeMurphy Mon 10-Jun-19 16:10:24

Just be honest. You are a non-practising Christian (which is really normal) and have respect for the beliefs of other religious people. Depending on your area the school may have a number of children from other faiths, as a lot of people prefer their DC to go to a faith school, even if it isn't their faith, rather than a non-faith one.

They may want you to do the catholic teaching certificate (as you will presumably be teaching RE) so you need to think if you are prepared to do that. It involves giving up your own time to attend sessions and write essays. When I did it I think it was 8 modules - each needed 2 x 3 hours session plus one essay, over the course of 2 years.

Theworldisfullofgs Mon 10-Jun-19 16:11:47

Most schools are fine. It's more about modelling christian values.

SabineSchmetterling Mon 10-Jun-19 16:57:15

You might need to do the CCRS for Primary. I’m a non-practising Christian who believes in the central teachings of the New Testament but no longer really believes in God. I do really believe in faith education though. I’ve been teaching in a Catholic School for 10 years now and have recently been appointed to a high-profile SLT role. They will be looking for you to be supportive of prayer, collective worship and the broader ethos of the school. For most teaching roles they won’t be expecting Catholics. For RE teachers, Deputy HT and HT posts they are allowed to restrict applications to Catholics only but where recruitment is difficult, they may even accept non-Catholics for some of those posts. We don’t have a fully practising Catholic RE department, for example. I’d just say what you said in your OP.

MrsDeaconClaybourne Tue 11-Jun-19 16:12:14

That's been really helpful. Thanks all. It's a TA post so don't think I'll need the teaching certificate. I do have QTS though so it's useful to know about for the future as I hadn't heard of it before. Thanks again.

OP’s posts: |
Cric Tue 11-Jun-19 20:39:41

Hello! Non Catholic that has worked in a catholic school for 15 years. More non catholic teachers than catholic. It is about modelling Christian values and being supportive of the ethos. If you can do that, you will get on fine. Good luck

MrsDeaconClaybourne Tue 11-Jun-19 21:36:09

That’s what I’m hope Cric Going for a look round early next week sbut we’ll see.

OP’s posts: |
lozengeoflove Fri 14-Jun-19 15:20:23

There is nothing you have to say at all. They can’t refuse to employ you based in your religious beliefs alone. They can’t e en ask you if you are Catholic as that would be discriminatory.
They are however likely to ask you if you have any issues with Catholic teachings which likely underpin the school’s teachings.

LazyDaisey Fri 14-Jun-19 15:24:31

More than half the children attending our local catholic primary are non-catholic.

I don’t know which of the teachers - if any - are practicing catholics and I’ve only seen a few of the very active governors in church (they were active in church before they were asked to be school governors.)

Russell19 Fri 14-Jun-19 15:26:24

All they will want to know is that you follow and promote a catholic ethos. Also I'd say you needed to be prepared to say prayers, go to mass in school time and religious assemblies etc xx

mylittlenugget Fri 14-Jun-19 15:41:55

Outing but I went to a catholic school with a Jewish headteacher so I doubt it matters too much 🤷‍♀️

lozengeoflove Fri 14-Jun-19 15:48:03

Really, nugget? In the UK?

It’s always been my understanding that Catholic dioceses insist on appointing Catholic Heads.

Russell19 Fri 14-Jun-19 19:20:02

All catholic schools I've worked at and know of insist on catholic heads and deputies.

Stardustmoon Fri 14-Jun-19 19:30:39

I'm an Anglican and taught in a Catholic primary school for five years. You just have to make sure you support the ethos of the school. Lots of other teachers were of non-faith.

Stardustmoon Fri 14-Jun-19 19:32:14

Wow @mylittlenugget that's really interesting. I was told I wouldn't be able to progress to deputy at a Catholic school.

lozengeoflove Fri 14-Jun-19 20:10:36

Same here, stardustmoon, but only at Deputy and Head teacher levels.

OhForkItThen Fri 14-Jun-19 20:24:13

I’ve always worked in Catholic schools, and I am not Catholic. I just networked and grew on them. I was happy to support the ethos and that’s what matters, that you understand and accept/ respect that faith is important to others

mylittlenugget Fri 14-Jun-19 21:04:56

Yep uk catholic school. Very strict catholic as well, used to have a nunnery opposite and prayers were said at least three times a day. Lots of parents pulled their children out when they found out. But we learnt about another culture and visited a synagogue which I doubt would have happened had we had a catholic or atheist headteacher. I think they were desperate for heads though so she may have been a last choice thing

UncomfortableSilence Sat 15-Jun-19 19:55:13

I am Catholic and work in a Catholic Secondary, you absolutely do not have to be Catholic to work there it stipulates that in job adverts too.

You will however need to support the ethos of the school.

Chocolate35 Sat 15-Jun-19 22:01:59

I worked in a Catholic school and am a non-Catholic. I joined in with prayers but the children knew I wasn’t Catholic. No one cared. SLT were all Catholic but as others have said as long as you promote Christian ethos they’re fine.

Barbie222 Thu 20-Jun-19 16:58:21

I worked at a Catholic school a while back and liked it, but wouldn't have got promotion there as they always had "practising Catholic" on the job description for SLT rather than "practising Catholic or sympathetic to the aims of the faith" which was for class teachers.

I really liked the INSET retreat days. Once we went to a monastery.

Finfintytint Thu 20-Jun-19 17:04:15

Over 20 years ago I taught in a Catholic secondary and I am an atheist. I just had to support the Catholic ethos. I was not allowed to give any sex education advice at all as a non Catholic however (and got into big trouble when I did).
In all it was a good teaching experience.

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