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Jump through hoops for a school place

(105 Posts)
Seulgi Wed 07-Sep-16 17:55:05

DD is 2, we live near two schools, one is an Outstanding Catholic school and the other was an Outstanding State school until it was downgraded to Good a few years back and then in June was given a Satisfactory, we moved into the area 7 years ago and the Outstanding State school was a contributing factor to that.

It's quite shocking how much has changed with it. The other Outstanding/Good schools are oversubscribed, I doubt we'll get in on distance alone.

The catholic school is right on our doorstep, I was looking at their requirements online and priority is given to:

Baptised Catholic children who are resident in the parish and whose parents attend church once in a fortnight for 24 months.

Baptised Catholic children who are resident in the parish and whose practice is supported by a priest’s reference

So this all means DH or I will have to attend Church at least once every 2 weeks, get DD baptised and then have her come to church or attend Sunday school and then make sure a priest ticks it all off.

We're atheist, I haven't set foot in a church in 20 odd years and I can't imagine attending for 2 years. We'd most likely stop attending at the first opportunity. We don't mind getting DD baptised, it won't mean anything to us though, it'd just be her getting some water chucked on her, no offence intended.

DH is heavily leaning towards sending her to the satisfactory school but I can't decide.

Is a good school place worth all the fuss? We'll she be able to do as well in the satisfactory school with support at home, or would you just put up with it and attend for 2 years?

Pixilicious Wed 07-Sep-16 17:58:24

Bum a atheist and I got my daughter baptised and went to school 3-4 times a month with the intention of her getting into the outstanding catholic school near us. A change in our finances meant we could send her private but I 100% think it would have been worth it to get her into the best school we are in the catchment of.

SloanePeterson Wed 07-Sep-16 17:58:38

Why has the school been downgraded? Ofsted has a lot to answer for ime, ds's school was put into special measures from a previous outstanding rating and its still an excellent school imo. Sending my child to a religious school if you weren't of that faith wouldn't sit right with me at all.

Pixilicious Wed 07-Sep-16 17:58:45

*i'm not bum!!

Pixilicious Wed 07-Sep-16 17:59:28

*church not school (it's been a long day!)

LonnyVonnyWilsonFrickett Wed 07-Sep-16 18:02:58

I'm in Scotland where it's very different, but I do know several non-Catholics whose DCs attend catholic school. I can't get my head round it, tbh. I went to Catholic school and it's such a big part of the ethos of the school. I am now an atheist and I wouldn't do it. But that's possibly easy to say from where I'm sitting.

Have you been to see the other school?

Seulgi Wed 07-Sep-16 18:03:29

Pixilicious, it has been a long day but I managed to understand grin

Sloane, but we're not anti-religious iyswim, we just don't care about it.

SloanePeterson Wed 07-Sep-16 18:06:05

But even not being anti-religious, it's still a bit odd, no? Do you really want your dd in a school that's going to be so built around something you just don't believe in? Would it be different if the school was Muslim/Jewish? Because i really don't see a difference at all.

Seulgi Wed 07-Sep-16 18:06:47

Lonny, no I haven't been to see it at all but the way everyone talks about it "so thankful my DC left years ago it's gone to the dogs now" has me thinking that their's no point. My neighbour moved away so that her DC could attend another school as it was presumably that bad.

BertrandRussell Wed 07-Sep-16 18:07:31

There's more to education than academics. Teaching a child that you would lie and cheat to get something you want isn't. Lesson I would like my children to learn, frankly.

Seulgi Wed 07-Sep-16 18:10:19

Sloane, their would be no difference if the school was Muslim/Jewish I'd still be here trying to decide if I should attend Mosque/Synagogue, I don't mind DD believing in it but I'd probably just nod and smile if she started talking about it. It's not the religious aspect that I'm hesitating on but the effort needed to get her in.

AndNowItsSeven Wed 07-Sep-16 18:11:07

You would be depriving a Catholic child of a place, it's dishonest and immoral.

kavvLar Wed 07-Sep-16 18:11:47

This isn't jumping through hoops to get a school place. This is lying to get a school place. Please don't. Your DC might get in on distance but don't deny a Catholic child the place.

titchy Wed 07-Sep-16 18:12:12

Go and look at he school ffs. Would you really leave that decision to other people? Just because people say it's gone to the dogs doesn't mean it has, particularly as none of them actually has any first hand knowledge...

Seulgi Wed 07-Sep-16 18:13:47

I like to think of it as the church gaining a catholic child grin without this rule we'd never dream of taking DD to Church

BertrandRussell Wed 07-Sep-16 18:15:39

It's not about "depriving" a catholic child- people of faith have a choice of a third more schools anyway and nobody sadly complains about Catholic children in non faith schools "depriving" atheists of a place. It's about the message you send your child about honesty and cheating.......

NotCitrus Wed 07-Sep-16 18:26:02

You might not find it that easy to get your child baptised Catholic.
Really, don't listen to hearsay from parents about schools - they can change way quicker than reputations. Also the standard and hoops required of schools has changed so much that Ofsted Outstanding from 5 years ago could be Satisfactory or RI now.
FWIW, the only school and nursery I wouldn't have been willing to send a child to were both Outstanding, with excellent ones being Good or Satisfactory, mostly for reasons of intake or paperwork. It's mad to complain pupils don't make progress from KS1 to 2 SATs if only 1 of 60 is the same child!

Turbinaria Wed 07-Sep-16 18:34:32

I'd have a look at the reasons why it's been downgraded. Ofsted can be very political and the reasons why a school is outstanding or needs improvement can change and reflect the desires of the government. For example a local school was deemed needs improvement because it excluded a fair number of unruly kids who were stopping the decent ones from learning. So even though the results were improving it was downgraded to NI. Another local school got an outstanding Ofsted by doing away with its kitchen and so deterred those on free school meals from applying and interviewing parents on the sly to ensure they were middle class and supportive.

Floggingmolly Wed 07-Sep-16 18:43:14

Is the outstanding Catholic school over subscribed? Most of them are very prescriptive as to when the baptism needs to have taken place.
Round here (London); baptism before 6 months of age is essential.
Precisely to prevent the kind of nonsense you're contemplating here.
Would this even occur to you if the school's Ofsted ratings were the other way round? I think not.

Floggingmolly Wed 07-Sep-16 18:46:39

How many Catholic children are cluttering up the non faith schools round your way, Bertrand? If there really are hordes of them, look to what op is up to for the reason why there's no room for them in the Catholic schools.

Lilaclily Wed 07-Sep-16 18:50:14

I'd save yourself the hassle of going to a Church you don't believe in and go to the satisfactory school

Alfieisnoisy Wed 07-Sep-16 18:56:32

Tbh OP I would go and look at the "Satisfactory" school so you get a feel for it. Instinct can tell you an awful lot.

Look at how the adults interact with the children for example. My DS is autistic and I looked at all the local Primary schools from the Outstanding to the Satisfactory one. It was only at the "Satisfactory" one where the Head showed me round AND squatted down to listen to what DS had to say and answer his questions. There was no difficulty in choosing that school and it was definitely the right choice.

Stevefromstevenage Wed 07-Sep-16 19:05:15

Go for it OP. Where I am (ROI) unless you baptise your child you have no school to send them to. I got a letter recently about Holy Communion being optional. Of course it is, except your child won't get into their secondary school if you don't do it and there is no other choice locally. The church is holding people to randsom and they know it and yet they then try to flog it as a free choice and have a right go at parents for being such hypocrites - the irony. My opinion of fuck them naturally stems from my own experience and that of many families here, so fuck 'em.

Seulgi Wed 07-Sep-16 19:18:07

Okay, I will most certainly actually go look at both schools before committing myself. On the website it just says they need a baptism certificate 3 months before the year that we plan to apply for a place.

chilipepper20 Wed 07-Sep-16 20:10:12

This is lying to get a school place. Please don't. Your DC might get in on distance but don't deny a Catholic child the place.

I'd lie. It's entirely unjust that catholic and c of e children have more choice than my kids do. Given that religious discrimination is illegal in pretty much every other aspect of British life, I don't see why it should be legal here.

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