Secrecy in schools – catholic dirty habits

The northern Ireland Commission for Catholic Education, Post Primary Review has been making a mockery of consultation across the north for months. The ‘Catholic Education For All’ consultation on South, West Belfast and Lisburn is a clear demonstration.

I challenge you to find either the consultation or response form on the website with any ease.
If you do come across it you will find a document that suggests two models identical in all but one element; the building of a new school for Lisburn/Glenavy/Crumlin.

No indication of where, despite claiming to have a site identified.

A tiny section is left for suggesting alternatives – like challenging keeping every Grammar School intact through  meaningless partnership arrangements with Comprehensives (St Rose’s and St Dominic’s cooperate but don’t amalgamate – and this isn’t promoting selective education?) .

Or the aim of keeping St Colm’s, De La Salle and St Genevieve’s in a wee group of deprived isolation?

Consultation my arse.

  • fitzjameshorse1745

    From what Ive seen over past few months on Slugger, there are very few people as interested as you are in sending a child to a Catholic school. Therefore I cant imagine that many of us would be looking thru this document.
    But fair play to you. Your choice.

  • Mark McGregor

    But you do seem a tiny bit obsessive with responding to my blogs with nothing of relevance. Not fairplay to you -just highlighting a fixated little troll. You aren’t the first, you won’t be the last. You are in the middle for tedious.

  • Lots of consultations are as hard to find. But presenting only one substantial option is unusual – a few freedom of information requests will get you the other alternatives they considered, but have not included in the consultation.

    It is reasonable to reduce half a dozen alternatives to the 3 best, then consult on them. It is not reasonable to make a unique choice first, then only consult on that.

  • fitzjameshorse1745

    I merely make the point that I cant see how the Catholic Churchs organisation of its schools can be of any interest to people hostile to its precepts.
    I myself have no great interest in Islamic education…or indeed any “faith based” school.
    Obviously I dont know your own theology preferences but youve not given me any overt sign of your Catholicism. Fair play to you if you are.
    But as for “obsession” then surely a non Catholic would be “obsessional” to have an interest in things which effected only Catholics.

  • Drumlin Rock

    Actually FJH, i’m quite interested, mainly because I think it will have a knock on effect on the other sectors, ie. if the catholic church basically abolishes grammers them will more catholics send their children to the “state” sector?

  • fitzjameshorse1745

    Drumlins Rock….minimal.
    As Ive mentioned before its NOT about Religion.
    The Catholic Church, SDLP and Sinn Féin….the pan nationalists front (although that has paranoid overtones in unionist circles) have a vested interest in segregated education.
    In any school one plus one equals two.
    And most “Catholic parents” are only nominally “Catholic”.
    What surprises American academics a lot is that segregation in education wasa big issue in the Civil Rights era in USA but was never an issue here.
    Catholic schools were not regarded as inferior.

    The Catholic Church needs its influence for religious purposes.
    SDLP and SF need the difference for political reasons.
    The kids will grow up nationalist.
    For years in South Belfast, theCatholic middle class have been sending kids to Methody. The catholic grammar schools were accross town in Norh and West Belfast (there also one in east Belfast).
    Aquinas on Malone Road stemmed the tide to some extent.

    The kids in Methody might have played rugby but they generally speaking wont be voting for Paula Bradshaw. Theres only going to be minimal consequence……it wont really make much difference in Armagh, Newry, Dungannon, Derry and the Church and SDLP and SF know it.
    There a unionist thought out there that if Catholic kids go to State grammars they will become unionist but its just a variation on the old O’Neillite thing that if you give them jobs and houses they will become unionist.
    Wont happen.

  • aquifer

    Will the church stand by its principles and do comprehensive all-class schools while the state maintained sector still has secular grammar schools?


    Make me good lord, but not just yet.

  • Cynic2

    ” The Catholic Church needs its influence for religious purposes.”

    Thjere is a big financial issue here that no-one mentions. Catholic Church Plc receives a large subvention from teh state for running tehse schools and that pays for a lot of things and a lot of posts. Do we know just how much?

    What are we as a community subsidising this?

    And don’t start with the old – its an anti-Catholic thing. It’s genuinely not. I am all in favour of a role in schools for religious bodies of any denomination where the parents want that. If they want to pay for religious schools and they meet appropriate standards of education then fine too – let them have them. But don’t ask me to pay for religious indoctrination of any one by anyone.

  • Granni Trixie

    One of the few things for which I credit Catholic bishops is in their determination to insist on change and for pointing out the immorality of the present system. (well they cant be in the wrong all the time, can they?). I even support Catrina for her firm stance (though ofcourse acknowledge she has made a mess of the implimentation of change).

    And many people involved in integrated education push for an comprehensive-type system for integrated schools because it is consistent with the values to which they aspire.

    The current system is repugnant to me because it is clearly unfair – ‘failing the qualie’ impacts long term on kids esteem (from observations as mother and teacher).
    Very disappointed that my old school St Doms will not bite the bullet and amalgamate properly with St Roses – reeks of the snobbishness which is how some people remember it (eg read “Asking for Trouble”, Patricia Craig’s memoir of how she and Rita OHare were expelled from the school in the 50s).

  • Neil McNickle

    I must saw I Integrated education is the way forward! How can we build a fully inclusive society when kids are seperated at the age of 5 and only educated with people of the same faith?

  • State maintainedschools are funded 100%
    Catholic maintained schools are funded 100%

    The difference lies in the ownership, the owners of the catholic schools are trustees who are invariably clerics. In return for the 100% funding the trustees allow DE appointees on governing bodies, follow DEL policy etc.

    Given the present overstretched Catholic Church you’ll find a greater clerical/reilgious presence on non catholic school governing bodies.

  • It would be a nice piece of research if someone was to look into the background of our leading educationalists and their own educational choices.

    Quite simply most local leading educationalists are teachers who got out quick from the chalk face into administration and have risen through the bureaucratic ranks, or occupants of ivory towers wishing to influence the corridors of power or property owners (clerics) or trade unionists/laborists.

    It almost goes without saying that these leading educationalists alone know what’s best for our children and the very people charged by Church and State to bring up our children, parents remember them, have absolutely nothing whatsoever to contribute. Hence the superficial consultations.

    Parents, particularly those with children at both primary and post primary schools, know only too well that leading educationalists cannot even agree on harmonising school holidays, a task self evident and easily resolvable by school dinner ladies, so why give them carte blanche on our children’s future.

    Incidentally you will find very very few leading educationalists whose children have not benefited from a grammar school education. They become advocates of non selection after their eldest child has started at the grammar. And teachers by and large vote with their feet and send their children to grammars too.

    Almost the end of the rant.

    Incidentally how many ways can you be different in schools around Norn Iron.

    Boy/girl primary, secondary, grammar(any single sex nursery schools?)
    Catholic /Non catholic
    Non catholic Faith schools
    Grammar / Non grammar
    Boarding/non boarding
    Fee paying/non fee paying
    Irish medium
    Are there any Ullans schools yet?
    local/ train or car journey away (as much as 30 miles)

    In other words parents will go to great lengths to segregate their children and the taxpayer is expected to foot the bill.

  • SammyMehaffey

    they may not become Unionists but they will be more rounded individuals, less bigoted, less afraid of the other sorts because they know they dont have two heads.
    Segregated education is largely responsible for the sectarian divisions in our community and the catholic church is wholly responsible for that.

  • SammyMehaffey

    Bring on the cuts Mr cameron and sort out this ballooning waste of money. One education board and no quangos. Head teachers free to run their school without wollyminded interference