my son is being punished for our religious stance

(303 Posts)
LiloLils Tue 09-Apr-13 03:43:14

...this is a bold statement but its how I feel.

There isn't any point to my post but the subject is keeping me awake so thought it might help to write it down on a public forum and see if I'm not the only one who is saddened by this.

Basically my DH and I are non religious. I was brought up catholic and he was brought up church of England but somewhere along the line we both lost our faith and sided with reason. Myself particularly...I have a bit of a problem with organised religion. there are personal reasons for this.

Long story short. If we stick to our guns and don't get our boy christened into either Catholicism or church of England, he is going to have to attend the worst school in the borough.

It just really angers me. Why in this day and age do we have to jump through hoops, lie about our beliefs, and subject our children to learning fairy tales as fact, in order to get them into a "good" school?

I have never been so torn about a decision in my life. I'm being pressured by family and friends to get him christened just to get him into a good school. They make me feel guilty by saying things like "do it for your child. I'd do anything for my child...wouldn't you?" It just feels all wrong.

teacherwith2kids Sun 14-Apr-13 17:52:58

Mothership,

Sadly, I believe that Xenia believes exactly what she says..

(I also believe her to be a little odd, and living in a very strange North London bubble, but that's beside the point)

tiggytape Sun 14-Apr-13 17:57:25

There is a map here that shows areas of real concern in terms of shortages (you might need to scroll down).

In areas that are red, more than 15% of children under the current figures would be without a school place. In those areas, no matter what the admission criteria you apply, a sizeable number won't get their first choice or perhaps any choice of school at all (London, Leeds, Manchester, Bristol etc)

As Mothership said, the problem isn't so much that faith schools have faith criteria. If only 29 children applied for 30 places, the faith criteria wouldn't even be looked at. It is only ever used in oversubscribed schools.
The problem is that with 300 applicants for 30 places any set of criteria you use is going to upset 90% of people who apply. Even the faith criteria at these schools will mean most church goers won't get a place

If there wasn't such a huge shortage of places very few would care that only worshippers could get into faith schools. They'd happily go to a choice of 2 or 3 good community schools instead. When suddenly there is no longer the option of a local community schools, parents are very upset. They are upset that the baby boom has shrunk catchments of communtiy schools to a few hundred metres and the fact that church schools are similarly oversubscribed and blocked to them is an extra blow.

ovenchips Sun 14-Apr-13 18:56:13

Lilolils. I'm sorry to read you are so worried and angry about the difficult school choices for your son.

IMO this is one of those issues that you can get into an utter flap about but will 100% be resolved because it has to be! Come 4 or 5 he will be at school/ home schooled and you will have made the best choice for your son out of the options available. Things will work out because you sound determined to make them work (whether you christen, whether you go to local school and get extra input, whether you homeschool).

So please know that a decision will get made and this turmoil will be behind you.

I hope this does not sound like cold comfort, it's truly not meant to be, I just know there's a difference between agonising decisions as a parent about things that you have to manage long term, and choices you have to make from time to time that are really quite difficult but you simply make the best choice out of hat is possible, because you have to.

Xenia Sun 14-Apr-13 18:58:57

Some parents will put holidays before paying fees. Some shoes. Obviously if there is no way you could take a second job or one of you work at weekends to afford fees that is fair enough but have a go. Plenty of parents do manage it and career success can also be good for families and relationships.

Also moving to be where there are good schools is not such a controversial statement. Parents do it every week. It is not that rare to put your child first.

exoticfruits Sun 14-Apr-13 19:12:48

I took Xenia's post as sarcasm?

I don't think Xenia does sarcasm. She believes that anyone is failing their DC if they won't/can't do school fees. Personally I prefer to use good state schools and have holidays and time.

teacherwith2kids Sun 14-Apr-13 19:14:54

Exotic, personally I prefer to use state schools and eat....

The amount of money I spend on shoes (about £50 a year, 0 in some years) isn't going to keep anyone in a private school...

mrz Sun 14-Apr-13 19:36:11
Spero Sun 14-Apr-13 19:47:18

I do so love reading the most highly rated comments on the DM online articles.

exoticfruits Sun 14-Apr-13 19:49:04

Xenia's slant on the world is one of the things that makes MN such a fascinating place and quite addictive. smile

Talkinpeace Sun 14-Apr-13 19:51:00

Agreed.
Variety is the spice of life.
Xenia is our chipotle.

teacherwith2kids Sun 14-Apr-13 19:52:27

I was thinking of her as uber-Marmite...

Spero Sun 14-Apr-13 19:53:22

She is always consistent so kudos for that.

teacherwith2kids Sun 14-Apr-13 20:08:36

Spero, I don't know, though, whether a failure to modify one's views in the slightest, even in the face of compelling evidence and rational argument, is something to admire or something to be ashamed of?

Spero Sun 14-Apr-13 20:28:43

At least you know where you stand!

And if she ever goes away and people miss her, it will be easy to programme a xenia meme generator.

Xenia Sun 14-Apr-13 22:07:43

PW's problem ( see link above) is she picked a lowish paid career - journalism and unlike most people spent spent spent in good times and put nothing aside so now finds life so "hard" in her terms that she has to invent deliberately provocative articles to feed herself.

Spero Sun 14-Apr-13 22:11:48

She was earning six figures. Is this your definition of a 'lowish' paid career?

If so, then your arguments have no validity for 99% of the population who earn less.

CheerfulYank Mon 15-Apr-13 02:22:50

That article is hilarious! At least, as someone whose family of three (soon to be four) lives on about 42,000 pounds I would think so. grin

BranchingOut Mon 15-Apr-13 07:05:09

The article is, obviously, farcical. But it does make an important point: even salaries that you might imagine would bring a luxurious lifestyle are rapidly eroded due to London's high costs of housing.

My DH earns more than Ms Wyatt, but we live fairly simply and are not daft enough to even consider buying some of the brands she mentions.

I think this was mentioned before in relation to Toby Young: the children of the old-wealthy and privileged, believing that they will be able to reproduce the lifestyle they experienced as a child for their own children, suddenly find themselves coming up with a bump against the costs of housing and the overspill of high prices from the most desirable parts of London. School fees then begin to look rather tricky....

Talkinpeace Mon 15-Apr-13 17:12:08

Petronella's dad must have been so proud of her
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Woodrow_Wyatt

LiloLils Tue 14-May-13 15:59:02

Hello all

At the risk of being chased by pitchforks off this MN thread, I just thought I'd update you on proceedings.

I've had a complete change of heart and I'm getting my boy baptised RC.

I live on the doorstep of 2 of the best (boys) secondary schools in London. Both are RC. I've decided that my boy's education is far more important than my ideals. He, like me, will make up his own mind when he's old enough. But for now, the Catholic schools are the best and that's what I'm going with. Sod my principles. Sod the hypocrisy. I don't care anymore. All that matters to me now is ensuring my boy gets the best start in life. In central London, well where I live anyway, the RC route is the best.

I've gone back to my church, its been nearly 15 years since I last attended. I saw familiar, friendly faces (I've been reunited with a special friend I hadn't seen in years). I sat with my boy and listened to quite an interesting sermon. We walked around when my boy got restless, and he took quite a shine to the statue of Mary. I surprised myself...I felt quite happy to be there. No, I haven't found god. But I have laid to rest my feelings of doubt about doing the right thing when it comes to my son's education. I'm happy to attend church once a week now. The community spirit was lovely.

So, there you go. Thank you for a very interesting debate, I enjoyed reading everyone's views.

<runs away>

handcream Tue 14-May-13 16:14:31

Its a horrible choice to make and I am somewhat surprised that some on this thread are saying send him to a crap school... Really - would you. I wouldnt!

annh Tue 14-May-13 17:08:41

What age is your son? Make sure you don't go through the process of having him christened only to find that it wasn't done early enough for the admissions process for your chosen school to get him a place.

IrritatingInfinity Tue 14-May-13 18:13:39

I have only just come to this thread and I haven't read all the posts, sorry.

I just wanted to say when we were overseas we had no choice to send our DCs to religious schools (Catholic and 'Christian') I don't think it did them any harm at all even though I would have preferred to send them to secular schools. The schools knew our DCs were not religious but were ok with it.

If I were in the OP's positionI would do the same even though it would irritate me a lot! I can't stand people being hypocritical but I would still do it in the OPs position.

I think ALL schools should be secular.

IrritatingInfinity Tue 14-May-13 18:14:56

Sorry, I forgot to add a 'good luck' for the OP and her DC. smile

thesecretmusicteacher Tue 14-May-13 20:34:54

to quote Ant and Dec

"you weren't expecting that were you? You were not expecting that!"

good luck OP!

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