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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:
Ninoo25 · 09/10/2018 13:38

I would have brought it up before applying to the school tbh. I wouldn’t want religion rammed down my child’s throat, but they don’t go to a church school. If you want them to go to a church school, but not go heavy on the religion I think it’s something you should talk to the head about.

Kr1stina · 09/10/2018 13:38

Please either let him participate in the life of the school or remove him. It’s not fair to exclude him from things, especially visits to church which will be part of the preparations for First holy communion. All his classmates will be making this and surely he wants to go along for the day and see them?

Otherwise just remove him from the school, you will make him miserable by your attitudes.

I say this as a non catholic.

ivykaty44 · 09/10/2018 13:39

What does your ds want to do?

Rather than parents or priests decided, how about the person themselves actually getting to choose

BlueUggs · 09/10/2018 13:39

@FlyingMonkeys - I think my issue is the fact that as they are coming up to FHC, they are visiting the church to learn about baptism....
It feels like they are saying "we'll show you what you need to do first to be like your friends who ARE doing their FHC just to put more pressure on". Yes, this is probably BU, but that's how it feels to me....

OP posts:
Puzzledandpissedoff · 09/10/2018 13:40

there is no separation between the state and the Church in the U.K.

Ain't that the truth Hmm

KoalasAteMyHomework · 09/10/2018 13:40

I know they are private schools but are they allowed to refuse a child because of slight SN? Surely that's discriminatory?

BlueUggs · 09/10/2018 13:40

@ivykaty44 he's 7! I don't think that's old enough to be making decisions about religion.....

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BlueUggs · 09/10/2018 13:43

@KoalasAteMyHomework - the school in question is an academically selective school. Yes, it's discriminatory but they get round it by proclaiming that the child won't fit into their academic expectation.....despite him having been declared G&T at his previous school....
I decided not to fight it because I didn't want him at a school who made it clear they didn't want him.

I can see most of you think I'm BU and I'm not one of those posters who is going to disagree with you all - that's why I asked for opinions!!

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PaulDacrreRimsGeese · 09/10/2018 13:45

The religious stuff was always going to ramp up around the time of first communion. You didn't do your research very well if you weren't aware of that. It's pretty basic left footing. A thread on here asking what to expect and when would've likely given you that information!

Will his non RC classmates be going? You mention some not making their communion so I assume there's a reasonably substantial non-Catholic intake. If some of them won't then maybe don't send him, but if he's going to be the only one then I'd be worried about him feeling excluded.

veggiethrower · 09/10/2018 13:45


Yes you're right... it`s 10% not 20% - had the 2 in my head because the 10% equated to just over 2 hours of teaching time in the week.

PaulDacrreRimsGeese · 09/10/2018 13:46

@FlyingMonkeys - I think my issue is the fact that as they are coming up to FHC, they are visiting the church to learn about baptism....
It feels like they are saying "we'll show you what you need to do first to be like your friends who ARE doing their FHC just to put more pressure on". Yes, this is probably BU, but that's how it feels to me....

This is fucking ridiculous, sorry.

ivykaty44 · 09/10/2018 13:46

Blueggs he is not 7 years old, he’s around 12 years old which is old enough to know his own mind

ivykaty44 · 09/10/2018 13:47

Since he entered year 7, year 7 is aged 11/12

Growingboys · 09/10/2018 13:48

YABU. You should have thought about this before. I wouldn't send my DC to an Islamic school for the same reason.

KoalasAteMyHomework · 09/10/2018 13:49

@BlueUggs I think that is disgraceful behaviour on their part. But can totally understand why you wouldn't push it. As you say, you wouldn't want him at a school that would make his life difficult because they didn't want him there.

BlueUggs · 09/10/2018 13:50

@ivykaty44 - no, he's seven, I did apologise up thread for my mistake - he's year 3.

OP posts:
Welshmaiden85 · 09/10/2018 13:50

In a catholic school there will be prayers, visiting priests, visits to the church. All very standard.

Obviously you could try to isolate him from all this, but perhaps better would be to either talk to him about this respectfully about how it is some people’s sincere belief but not yours OR remove him and put him in a non religious school. Removing him from everything religious is fighting a losing battle, and a bit daft if you chose a religious school.

Fink · 09/10/2018 13:51

It feels like they are saying "we'll show you what you need to do first to be like your friends who ARE doing their FHC just to put more pressure on". Yes, this is probably BU, but that's how it feels to me....

Yes, you are absolutely BU. The visit to the church to learn about baptism will 100% not have been put on in order to show the non-Catholics in the class what to do. As I stated above in some detail, they are not interested in converting 7 year olds. What they are interested in is teaching the children, Catholic and not, about one of the major features of the faith. Baptism is a central, crucial, belief of Catholics.

You would reasonably have been very upset, to the point of making serious complaints about it, had a Catholic school not taught your child about baptism. As well as the church visit, they may well act out a baptism with dolls in class. This is because children have a variety of learning styles. If you would prefer your child to learn about baptism by sitting still in a chalk and talk lesson then writing up the facts afterwards, then it's not only Catholicism but pedagogy you need to think about.

sashh · 09/10/2018 13:52

He's 7. So the rest of the class will be preparing for their first communion.

Yes!! He takes everything literally - like telling his friends he would be a cannibal to "eat the body of Christ"'s difficult to make him understand that it is a symbol....

But it isn't a symbol, not for RCs.

BlueUggs · 09/10/2018 13:53

@FlyingMonkeys - fair enough, hence why I asked if IWBU!

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ivykaty44 · 09/10/2018 13:53

Just take him out of the religious parts of schooling, but be consistent and stop all religious participation - don’t start pickin and choosing

Loonoon · 09/10/2018 13:53

If you send him to a Catholic school with mostly Catholic pupils it would be unkind to exclude him from the religious activities they will participate in. My DC all went to Catholic schools with predominantly Catholic students and the few children of other/no faiths went to mass/carol concerts etc because it was part of school life.

Incidentally coming from a `Catholic family and going to a Catholic school did not force my DC to be Catholic forever. It gave them a grounding and made them part of the church community but like most young people they developed a healthy cynicism as they grew up and began to question what they perceived to be inconsistencies and hypocrisies.

Missingstreetlife · 09/10/2018 13:55

I don't think a trip to church is the worst concern. Let him go but also take him to a mosque, synagogue, temple. Many are open to visits (our local c of e juniors are always taken to these as well as their own religious education). I'm surprised you didn't have to give consent, or go to church yourself to get in to this school.
Talk to the teacher before you make your decision.

bumblingbovine49 · 09/10/2018 13:57

I went to a Catholic school (though it was years ago) and we had mass said in the school on a regular basis . The whole ethos and drive in the school was Catholic. There was no way you could miss it. I think a non Catholic would have found it very difficult as the the Catholic doctrine and practices permeated every aspect of the school. Then again my school only let in practising Catholics.

In my experience, most Catholic schools are like this, whereas Church of England ones can often be much less 'preachy' though it does depend for them as well.

Almostthere15 · 09/10/2018 13:59

I can see you are sensitive to your ds taking things literally but I think you're misjudging their motives. I doubt v much that they are trying to coerce him, just that they are used to doing things that way and there's not a reason not to because they assume that parents, having exercised the ultimate choice by paying (I appreciate it felt it wasn't much of a choice for you), are ok with that.

It's simply not true though that catholic schools only instruct in the rc faith, rather than educate about all religions. From reception onwards at my dcs school major religious festivals are covered and the children often try foods or do art/music/pe related to the festival. So a chat with the teacher might be helpful as they might be able to reassure you that there is a balance.

Ultimately though, they are Catholic and that will play a big part in school life. Some of the values they have, related to their Catholicism, is the reason why they are such a good fit for you and your son. Youll never agree with everything a school does, so it's up to you whether this is a deal breaker.

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