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Church schools shun poorest pupils - Comments

strangebrew's Avatar Comment 1 by strangebrew

Of course faith schools cherry pick....that was why they wanted to be classed as faith schools so that they could do just that and no comebacks. Local authorities know they do it but keep their beaks out of it and government just tips them a wink and a nod.

Criterion is apparently faith followed by financial status...those are interchangeable...but best when one follows the other!

I am just surprised that ...anyone is surprised!

Mon, 05 Mar 2012 13:31:12 UTC | #924580

MilitantNonStampCollector's Avatar Comment 2 by MilitantNonStampCollector

Cherry picking makes their well oiled indoctrination machine run a lot smoother.

Mon, 05 Mar 2012 13:42:22 UTC | #924584

jel's Avatar Comment 3 by jel

Cherry picking not only means that they get well funded pupils, it means that those pupils tend to do better at school, which boosts the schools position in the league tables which perpetuates the cycle of well funded pupils wanting to attend the school. As strangebrew says, it's not surprising.

Mon, 05 Mar 2012 13:53:45 UTC | #924589

green and dying's Avatar Comment 4 by green and dying

We have enough inequality in the English school system without adding more for stupid reasons.

State schools should admit pupils on the basis of catchment areas only. There would still be inequality, of course, but that's inequality that's difficult to solve whereas inequality caused by faith schools would be gone completely if we got rid of faith schools.

Mon, 05 Mar 2012 14:02:59 UTC | #924592

drumdaddy's Avatar Comment 5 by drumdaddy

Religions are parasitic governments, excision of which will chaperone enlightenment.

Mon, 05 Mar 2012 14:07:18 UTC | #924594

SomersetJohn's Avatar Comment 6 by SomersetJohn

Someone should question Cameron about this, on the floor of the House. Not that I would expect an answer which in any way, shape or form related to the question.

Mon, 05 Mar 2012 14:15:26 UTC | #924598

aquilacane's Avatar Comment 7 by aquilacane

Unethical behaviour, who would have thought? Add it to the list. Is there a list? There should be a list.

Mon, 05 Mar 2012 14:33:39 UTC | #924603

aroundtown's Avatar Comment 8 by aroundtown

Religious institution's are corrupt and always have been. This story is no surprise whatsoever in pointing out a particular practice that serves their goals. The church is a parasitic institution that feed's off it's public host and that condition should not be ignored when one is seeking to understand their actions.

Mon, 05 Mar 2012 14:38:38 UTC | #924606

aroundtown's Avatar Comment 9 by aroundtown

Comment 7 by aquilacane Unethical behaviour, who would have thought? Add it to the list. Is there a list? There should be a list.

Loved the idea of a list but I think the amount of paper required to cover church infractions would threaten entire forests.

Mon, 05 Mar 2012 14:43:50 UTC | #924607

rod-the-farmer's Avatar Comment 10 by rod-the-farmer

What was missing here was some indication of how far out of line these schools are. If their typical mismatch is 5%, that might be reasonable. But if it is 30%, then we have a problem. 'Twill be interesting to see what response they make, at the local school level.

Mon, 05 Mar 2012 15:15:31 UTC | #924613

mysticjbyrd's Avatar Comment 11 by mysticjbyrd

Well the reason why they seem to get higher test scores seems pretty obvious now, doesn't it?

Mon, 05 Mar 2012 15:48:35 UTC | #924624

paulmcuk's Avatar Comment 12 by paulmcuk

It's brilliant. Cherry-pick nice, middle-class kids with supportive parents. Kids do well. Everyone says this proves faith schools provide the best education. Government creates more faith schools. You'd have to be a genius on the level of...a person of modest intelligence...to see through it. That says much about the intelligence and/or motives of our politicians.

Mon, 05 Mar 2012 16:54:23 UTC | #924642

Alan4discussion's Avatar Comment 13 by Alan4discussion

Comment 12 by paulmcuk

That says much about the intelligence and/or motives of our politicians.

Tories (and pseudo-Tories) have always opened loop-holes for those who want to be "more-equal" than others, to exploit! It's called, "Giving the people greater choice", and abolishing "red-tape". The objective is usually to undermine democratic supervision of local government resources, so their followers can take advantage from working the system. It also buys votes from those seeking such fiddles!

The schools of course, deny "social selection"!

Mon, 05 Mar 2012 19:05:02 UTC | #924681

hiss's Avatar Comment 14 by hiss

In my experience of working in a Church of England school, pupils were not selected according to wealth. I am not entirely sure how you could achieve this. However, it is most definitely the case that wealthy parents who live in the area (or who have moved to the area) are more likely than poorer parents to work hard to get their child into a C of E school. This may involve getting their names on the list sooner, or pretending to be Christian more convincingly.

Mon, 05 Mar 2012 19:13:05 UTC | #924685

merlinaeus's Avatar Comment 15 by merlinaeus

Trust deeds that relate to the church giving land for the school often state specifically that the school is for the education of the 'poor' of the parish. That is certainly the case with our local CofE school. Nothing to stop children of wealthier families being admitted as well, but certainly not to the deliberate exclusion of the poor.

With comment 14, I'm not sure how such a school could select according to wealth. But I am fairly sure that how soon the parents get the child's name on the list is irrelevant; it gives no advantage, and is not among the criteria for admission priority.

Mon, 05 Mar 2012 20:13:45 UTC | #924702

lol mahmood's Avatar Comment 16 by lol mahmood

Comment 14 by hiss :

In my experience of working in a Church of England school, pupils were not selected according to wealth. I am not entirely sure how you could achieve this. However, it is most definitely the case that wealthy parents who live in the area (or who have moved to the area) are more likely than poorer parents to work hard to get their child into a C of E school. This may involve getting their names on the list sooner, or pretending to be Christian more convincingly.

The 'middle class parents pretending to be christian' is an increasingly popular sitcom staple. Many a true word, and all that...

Mon, 05 Mar 2012 20:21:38 UTC | #924707

AsylumWarden's Avatar Comment 17 by AsylumWarden

Didn't most of us know this at least 2 years ago?

Mon, 05 Mar 2012 20:28:58 UTC | #924709

lol mahmood's Avatar Comment 18 by lol mahmood

A few years ago CoE had a 'paper' out touting their contribution to social cohesion. I'm sure it xovered this topic as well, in a roundabout way. I seem to recall it quoted a study that had found no evidence of discriminatory admissions policies, or higher than expected secular admissions (including places filled by children of families with other religious views, including atheists). A synthesis of the two might be interesting.

Tue, 06 Mar 2012 00:53:18 UTC | #924753

QuestioningKat's Avatar Comment 19 by QuestioningKat

Talk about cherry-picking students....Not sure if the Catholic schools in the UK are anything like the US schools, but US Catholic schools are terrible at being inclusive towards children with learning disabilities. They will create havoc for a child until the parents put their kid into public schools. Catholic schools are also intolerant towards students with behavioral problems. I wonder if this is the same in the UK. Are UK schools required to make provisions toward students with special needs? If so, do they follow through?

Tue, 06 Mar 2012 02:46:31 UTC | #924774

Reckless Monkey's Avatar Comment 20 by Reckless Monkey

Many of the private schools (mostly catholic and anglican in Australia). Have very high fees and are all about Kudos, So, many kick out kids who under-perform. Many won't accept special needs kids (we don't have the facilities!). My brother and sister in law sent their kids to a exclusive school thousands of dollars each per year. A kid in my nephews year2 class was kicked out of the school because he needed too much support and we don't have the money to provide it! They get as much (sometimes more per student) from the government and they pick and choose who goes. State schools (public) take all comers, have a very difficult time excluding kids and yet we have to put up with this crap about under performing state schools. We regularly get kids who's parent scream at the school (literally often) "I'm taking my kid out of this F'ing useless school" only to take them to the private system that they're convinced can do better only to be told your son/daughter is not doing they're work so we're cancelling their enrolment. This after paying sometimes thousands of dollars. So they show up a couple of months latter.

I should say there are excellent private schools out there, but they're not on a level playing field.

Tue, 06 Mar 2012 07:56:30 UTC | #924794

Emmeline's Avatar Comment 21 by Emmeline

It's worth looking at the figures more closely to examine data for those faith schools that set their own admissions (within the government admission code).

Some faith schools are "Voluntary Controlled" (VC), which means the local authority controls them and sets the admissions. However, there are a significant number of "Voluntary Aided" (VA) faith schools, which set their own admissions.

The extra data provided by The Guardian shows this:

The results appear to show that where the school is in charge of its admissions policy, it has fewer free school meals pupils.

• 72.4% of VA schools have less than the local authority figure for free school meals, compared to 42.9% of community schools

• The gap is bigger at a very local level: 61.1% of VA schools have less than the postcode figure for free school meals, compared to 26.9% of community schools

Tue, 06 Mar 2012 08:10:38 UTC | #924796

Emmeline's Avatar Comment 22 by Emmeline

Comment 10 by rod-the-farmer :

What was missing here was some indication of how far out of line these schools are. If their typical mismatch is 5%, that might be reasonable. But if it is 30%, then we have a problem. 'Twill be interesting to see what response they make, at the local school level.

I can't find data on the "typical mismatch" but looking at their downloadable data, I found that the average % of pupils eligible for free school meals is as follows:

Church of England Primary Schools = 13.1%

Roman Catholic Primary Schools = 16.3%

No Religion Primary Schools = 21.5%

Church of England Secondary Schools = 12%

Roman Catholic Secondary Schools = 14%

No Religion Secondary Schools = 15.6%

Tue, 06 Mar 2012 08:44:06 UTC | #924800

Anonymous's Avatar Comment 23 by Anonymous

Comment Removed by Moderator

Tue, 06 Mar 2012 09:41:29 UTC | #924806

Alan4discussion's Avatar Comment 24 by Alan4discussion

Comment 14 by hiss

In my experience of working in a Church of England school, pupils were not selected according to wealth. I am not entirely sure how you could achieve this. However, it is most definitely the case that wealthy parents who live in the area (or who have moved to the area) are more likely than poorer parents to work hard to get their child into a C of E school. This may involve getting their names on the list sooner, or pretending to be Christian more convincingly.

One of our local Emmanuel Schools interviews parents as part of the admission process.

Part of the "committed to Xtian Education thing", is simply being "committed to education".
This allows the dumping of disruptive children with parents who do not value education, in other local schools. Great for the selection of parents who will give the school financial and moral support, while downgrading the league table performance and education standards of competing schools.
This allows the likes of Cameron (and Blair) to posture about the superiority of their pet "faith" projects.

Tue, 06 Mar 2012 10:22:44 UTC | #924812

PrayForMe's Avatar Comment 25 by PrayForMe

The schools aren't cherry-picking pupils except by faith. It just so happens that middle class parents are more likely to be Christian and/or more likely to cheat and lie to get their kids into a good school. This isnt the problem. The scandal is that we allow faith schools in the first place.

Tue, 06 Mar 2012 10:53:36 UTC | #924818

Emmeline's Avatar Comment 26 by Emmeline

Comment 23 by Andy1 :

Our schools will continue to be rubbish until selection by ability (grammar schools) is re-introduced. What we have now is selection by catchment area, which of course is effectively selection by wealth and the worst hit are children from poor families who get lumped into the most anarchic schools. Meanwhile, Mr Cameron supports comprehensive schools yet sends his children to London Oratory. Supertficially a state school but of course an entirely atypical one. So able to avoid the chaotic and undisciplined nature of the vast majority of schools whilst able to bask in the socialist virtue of his actions. What an ignoble pretence. Sorry for being off topic but I think going on about church schools rather misses the point that there is a fundamental problem with our education system.

I expect you mean Blair not Cameron...

As a product of a grammar school myself, I am very aware of how they were responsible for huge numbers of working class children progressing to higher education and having careers that were previously dominated by the middle classes. However, if we re-introduce them, you'd still be left with the same schools in poorer areas, which would then be devoid of higher ability pupils. You'd need a clear plan for ensuring that those pupils left behind had access to high quality education and resources.

I don't agree with you that the vast majority of our schools are "chaotic and undisciplined" or "rubbish" either but that's probably a discussion for another thread.

Tue, 06 Mar 2012 11:02:02 UTC | #924819

green and dying's Avatar Comment 27 by green and dying

Comment 23 by Andy1 :

Our schools will continue to be rubbish until selection by ability (grammar schools) is re-introduced.

Why would grammar schools be better than setting within comprehensive schools?

Tue, 06 Mar 2012 11:02:52 UTC | #924820

Slugsie's Avatar Comment 28 by Slugsie

Playing devils advocate here, but is it possible that those on lower income might tend to be less religious and thus less inclined to choose a religious school? Whilst I suspect there may well be an element of cherry picking, there may also be an element of natural selection.

Tue, 06 Mar 2012 14:19:19 UTC | #924845

Alan4discussion's Avatar Comment 29 by Alan4discussion

Comment 27 by green and dying

Why would grammar schools be better than setting within comprehensive schools?

In pre-comprehensive days, they were better than the secondary modern schools because of preferential funding, better qualified, better paid staff and better equipment.

Teachers were also much better supported in maintaining discipline and learning then, although this was offset by large classes and a lack of books and equipment when compared to modern education.

Tue, 06 Mar 2012 15:34:28 UTC | #924861

green and dying's Avatar Comment 30 by green and dying

Comment 29 by Alan4discussion :

In pre-comprehensive days, they were better than the secondary modern schools because of preferential funding, better qualified, better paid staff and better equipment.

Teachers were also much better supported in maintaining discipline and learning then, although this was offset by large classes and a lack of books and equipment when compared to modern education.

Yes but surely they wouldn't be better NOW as Andy1 thinks? It seems to me like grammar schools now would be for roughly the same kids who are currently in all top sets in comprehensive schools. But they are already taught together, so why would they need a different school? I'm for teaching by ability but that doesn't need to take place in separate buildings.

Tue, 06 Mar 2012 16:24:44 UTC | #924868