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Denying consent for religious visits

257 replies

BlueUggs · 09/10/2018 11:23

My son goes to a fantastic private school, which is catholic but we aren't catholic....
Since he entered year 7, I feel they have really started to push Catholicism onto my child. I have just refused consent for him to attend the local catholic church on a visit next week because I feel they are trying to convert him and he knows enough for year 3 from what they tell him at school.
We knew the school was catholic when we sent him there but didn't realise quite how much they were going to push it.....

OP posts:

WasabiSpring · 09/10/2018 11:39

Ah okay. Well, 7 is a lot younger to make those sorts of decisions. You could try talking to him about experiencing the religious aspects but being free to make his own mind up. But be prepared for the fact that it can also be just as powerful for them to see a religious service where all the adults speak of it as a fact rather than an optional belief.


Asterado · 09/10/2018 11:43

If you had said it was a state school I think I’d be a bit more sympathetic to your situation as there isn’t enough secular schools and you don’t get a choice where your children go to school in a lot of areas now however, it’s a private school which you’ve obviously chosen and are paying a lot of money for.

Why didn’t you do your research into the school before sending DC? A catholic school will have religion ingrained into most areas of your DC’s school, not just on visits to churches etc.


Solderingiron · 09/10/2018 11:43

YABU. Why did you send his to a school withca Catholic ethos if you don't believe and don't want that for him? Going to a church is a normal thing for them to do. Surely the children will be receiving their first communion shortly, how will you handle that? Then later confirmation.


akerman · 09/10/2018 11:44

I'm hugely sympathetic to your reasoning for sending your son to a private school, but it sounds as if your ethos is completely at odds with the ethos of the school you've chosen.
Their faith is at the heart of their entire approach, and you dismiss this as it being 'rammed down the throat' of a 'gullible' child.
It just seems that your attitude is completely incompatible with what the school is about.


Oblomov18 · 09/10/2018 11:44

Apply to another school and Remove your son from said Catholic school if you don't like their catholic ethos.



OutPinked · 09/10/2018 11:46

If you didn’t want a Catholic education, you shouldn’t have sent your child to an catholic school. No brainer really.


Alienspaceship · 09/10/2018 11:47

YABU. They’re not trying to convert him, it’s part of the education in a catholic school. If you don’t like it, find another school. Think about it. Catholic school. The clue is in the title.


EchidnasPhone · 09/10/2018 11:48

What about the religious education are you against? All religion or just Catholicism? I actively chose a school for my children based on my faith and how I wanted them educated. We have children of other faiths at our school - Sikh, Church of Scotland and Muslim. All these children still attend mass and participate in RE. This is the school their parents chose and do not expect the school to alter its teachings.


AdamNichol · 09/10/2018 11:50

Any school heavily tied to any religion is going to regard its mission as the recruitment of the next batch of believers.
I sympathise with your limited alternate options. But they will continue the hard sell leaving you to either counter their message outside of school or find alternate arrangements


ittakes2 · 09/10/2018 11:51

YABU - its a catholic school and so its not hardly surprising they want to go to a Catholic Church! I doubt very much it is a visit put on to convert your son....I would let him go. Going to a church is not going to convert him! You are just making him stand out as different but being left behind. No doubt not what a year 7 child wants!


missyB1 · 09/10/2018 11:52

They aren't ramming anything down his throat, they are just going about their normal business - educating within a Catholic ethos.


GlitterNails · 09/10/2018 11:53

I went to a Church of England primary school that pushed it fairly heavily. Church regularly, religious assemblies daily, everything taught as fact. I was an atheist before I even left the school.

What’s said at home is probably more important and I was told that not everyone has these beliefs and to think for myself.

So please don’t worry. He might accept it age 7, but he’s still very young. Tell him about other beliefs, other religions and as he gets older he will be more open minded.


JeanPagett · 09/10/2018 11:55

Yes, YANU.

You had a choice between larger numbers at a secular state school or smaller numbers at a catholic private school. How can you now claim to be shocked that a catholic school has a catholic ethos? Bizarre.


Lweji · 09/10/2018 11:55

How much "harm" do you think visiting a place or worship will do, compared with daily prayer or teaching, for example?


FlamingJuno · 09/10/2018 11:55

As others have said, the school isn't trying to convert him or ramming it down his throat - he's receiving a fairly normal standard contemporary RC education, that you have chosen for him and are paying for. Having been educated in a convent school throughout the seventies, I can assure you that compared to that experience, there'll be nothing like the ramming that happened then. We went to mass every single day.

YABVVU and should remove your child from the school. You can't expect to have the advantages without the, to you, huge downside.


Nanny0gg · 09/10/2018 11:58

My 6 year old DGD goes to a CofE school. Lots of religion
She is firmly atheist!


alwayswingingit · 09/10/2018 12:00

YAB massively U


Gingerrogered · 09/10/2018 12:01

Well just tell him he can make his own mind up and decide what he believes but tell him he can use it as a learning experience of one of many belief systems he might wish to follow. Learning about it is also useful grounding for understanding stuff about our history and what the original underpinning of our value system are.

Eventually as he grows up he is going to be exposed to these things and decide for himself anyway.

Incidentally, in my own personal experience, sending your kids to Catholic school and exposing them to lots of lectures about religion is probably THE most effective method of making sure your kids DON’T grow up Catholic.


EmGee · 09/10/2018 12:01

Sorry OP there is nothing you can do except a) accept it or b) remove him. What about all the Catholic families who are sending their kids there for precisely the reasons you are against? I think YABVU and also very naive.


RoomOfRequirement · 09/10/2018 12:02

For those saying 'Why would you send him to a Catholic school' - I went to a catholic school despite being strongly atheist. I did so because it was the only school close by with a good Ofsted rating. I grew up in a deprived area, and every other school had low ratings and terrible result percentages.

My choice wasn't for a Catholic school, it was for a good school. I personally think faith schools are ridiculous, and completely unfair that the only chance some students get for a good education involves indoctrination.


user1495390685 · 09/10/2018 12:02

I wouldn't deny trip, OP. It'll single him out and make him uncomfortable. They have soooo many other ways of introducing religion into the day, a trip to church won't change anything. And it's fun for them to break the routine. Look at it as an opportunity to discuss all this at home.

Also, in my experience, the best way to prevent him from becoming very religious is teaching him about the subject rather than making it taboo. In future he can have reasoned conversations and arrive at his own conclusions when he is armed with knowledge and sense.

I do hear you though I am allergic to daily prayers and other pointless activities like thanking God for everything (I am a great believer in making my own destiny, thanks very much!) But try not to worry we moved ours from a secular state school where the local priest was present daily distributing his Alpha Course leaflets to a CoE school where at least they are honest about it. That said, I realise Catholic schools are much more full on about this.


Tighnabruaich · 09/10/2018 12:02

The Catholic faith is a huge part of Catholic education in their schools. I remember from my days in Catholic primary and high schools we would occasionally have a non-Catholic in the class and they were never allowed out of anything, including going to the 'First Friday of the Month' mass. They're not pushing it on your son, they're not trying to convert him, they are just operating as normal. He's not being singled out.


KC225 · 09/10/2018 12:02

I was raised Catholic but am so far lapsed, I'm Narnia. My DH hates all religions equally. However, I went to a Catholic primary school and LOVED it. By luck and being obstinate, I managed to get the twins into a wonderful Catholic primary school. My DH was not happy. I read him the prospectus and happily said Catholic teachings is only 20% and he quite rightly replied that is one full day a week.

We took the stance that this is what some people believe in and we don't. My son was far more interested in it than my daughter. Now they are older, neither are interested but we were playing family trivial pursuit the other day and my daughter answered an question that she would have learnt from her Catholic primary school.

This is one of those you have to take the rough with the smooth monent ss of parenting.


Foxyloxy1plus1 · 09/10/2018 12:04

Of course a Catholic school is going to have a Catholic bias. You can’t cherry pick the bits you want just because you’re paying for his education.

The telling part in this is that you selected this school because it was the only one who would take your son with SEN. That tells you a lot about private schools and SEN. You never know, a state school might cater better for your son’s needs. But you are very unreasonable to want to choose only certain bits of what the school is offering.


ArnoldBee · 09/10/2018 12:04

I think you were naive and possibly didn't realise the implications of your choice. Catholic schools are really about the whole Catholic way of life which even for a devoted Catholic can be a bit much. Church of England schools tend to vary more in their approach and some off then you don't even realise are a church school. You need to re-examine your reasons for sending your child to that school and if he stays there you need to fully embrace the Catholic experience or move your child.

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