Has Martin McGuinness blocked John O’Dowd’s proposed abolition of the Catholic certificate?

This is the story of two Ministers, John O’Dowd and Martin McGuinness. They’re not brothers, but political comrades in the same party.  In this episode of Stormont Soap the Sinn Fein Education Minister protests that he wants to remove Catholic Certificate in Religious Studies.

The Catholic Certificate in Religious Education also just happens to represent a key argument in the continued independence of St Mary’s College, where almost all new teachers for the Catholic maintained schools system are trained.

At the same time, the Sinn Fein TD MP for West Belfast Paul Maskey, where St Mary’s College is situated, has challenged the Catholic educated Minister for Higher Education Stephen Farry in his determination to close St Mary’s on the grounds of cuts imposed on his department by Mr Maskey’s own political colleague Mr McGuinness.

Mr Farry is not a political relative of either Mr McGuinness or Mr O’Dowd, but he does want to amalgamate the college with its apparently estranged half sister college Stranmillis. Mr Maskey (who has no direct influence at either Stormont or Westminster) is currently challenging Minister Farry’s mandate with a very quite large petition.

Any way, here’s the breaking news in Hansard:

Mr McCausland: In view of the number of places to which trained teachers can apply, and if the Minister has the number who are being trained, will he tell us whether he would support the removal of the requirement that to teach in Roman Catholic maintained schools requires a special certificate, which is viewed by many people as a discriminatory practice?

Mr O’Dowd: That is a matter for the First Minister and the deputy First Minister to take on board. I have written to the First Minister and the deputy First Minister on several occasions, and I am awaiting a response. Personally, I believe that it should be removed. However, it is up to the First Minister and the deputy First Minister to carry that matter forward.

Meanwhile, at OFMdFM, Mr McGuinness’ some time friend, some time enemy, the First Minister Peter Robinson seems to have quietly dropped his previously expressed concerns about the “protection of the ethos of the [Stranmillis] college”. Mr McGuinness is saying nothing.

In the meantime Mr O’Dowd told DUP MLA Thomas Buchanan, that Protestant teachers might get a job in Catholic schools by sitting for the certificate in, amongst other places, in St Mary’s sister college Stranmillis:

Mr Buchanan asked the Minister of Education what action he is taking to free up the pathway for teachers from within the Unionist community to access employment in schools in the maintained [Catholic] sector. (AQT 2062/11-15)

Mr O’Dowd: I assume that the Member’s question refers to the Catholic certificate for teaching purposes, which was raised during Question Time. The Member may be aware that the certificate is available to non-Catholic members of the community through distance learning courses at, I think, the University of Glasgow and perhaps also through Stranmillis, so there are a number of opportunities for non-Catholic teachers to achieve that certificate and teach in the maintained sector.

Mr Buchanan: Does the Minister not accept that it is a barrier, and that the barrier is discrimination against teachers from the Unionist community?

Mr O’Dowd: I accept that it is certainly a perceived barrier. My personal view is that it should be done away with. In the teaching of the sacraments, I believe that there are other ways of achieving that objective and goal for the Catholic sector rather than every teacher having a certificate. The Member will also be aware that any change to equality legislation is the responsibility of OFMDFM.

Which would leave only the deputy First Minister as the key block on the Education Minister’s desire. And why would he do that? Well, the Alliance party is keen to tell the world that the business case for training the present number of Northern Irish teachers is sketchy to say the least:

In reply to a question from Trevor Lunn of Alliance, the minister said the current annual intake was 165 for St Mary’s University College and 169 for Stranmillis University College, and that numbers had been cut by 30% in recent years.

Mr Lunn said that only 18% of new teachers found jobs within a year of graduation, and asked how the minister could justify training places “for probably more than 50% more than the number of teachers we actually need”.

Mr O’Dowd said he believed it would be a mistake “to lose that economic driver which is in our communities”, and that “what we can do instead is we can close our teacher training colleges down and send all those young people over to England”.

Abolishing the Catholic Certificate in Religious Education as Mr O’Dowd claims he wants to, would also undo the most coherent religious arguments for keeping St Mary’s separate from Stranmillis, which co-incidentally would not be very good for business for Sinn Fein in west Belfast just now.

And what of the deputy First Minister? At yet another potentially politically awkward moment, he has anonymous death threats to deal with if anyone’s asking? [Which they aren’t, apparently – Ed.]

So, having fought Mr Robinson to a standstill over a Welfare package Mr McGuinness himself helped negotiate (then capitulated, erm, to his own deal), it looks very like Mr McGuinness has stopped Mr O’Dowd’s proposals in case they harm mandates in Belfast and his own rural hinterland which predominantly feeds the student body of St Mary’s.

Unless, of course, it was that dastardly Peter Robinson just trying to make it look like no one in Sinn Fein has been watching the nationalist farm?

Tune in next time, for another episode of Sinn Fein’s long running Stormont soap: never mind the policy, protect the mandate!! 

Confused? You will be… 

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  • Dan

    Why hasn’t the Equality Commission jumped on this outrageous discrimination, on behalf of those teachers from a non-Roman Catholic background?
    What are they waiting for….

  • barnshee

    Because its Legal to discriminate in Education— its just that the stupid prods fail to create a similar “Protestant certificate” and get rid of the catholic teachers in state schools

  • the keep

    I think you know the answer Dan…

  • Framer

    Even if the Catholic teaching certificate requirement was abandoned, the fact that such schools can legally discriminate on grounds of religion because of the Fair Employment law exception means the door remains firmly shut for Protestants.
    Odd there is not a squeak from the Equality Commission. No nothing, ever.

  • chrisjones2

    So if for example I am an atheist or Muslim I have to agree to be trained in Catholic ideology to say teach Mathematics ?

  • mickfealty

    I have to say that back in the 70s one of our Science teachers was a Protestant and so was his Lab assistant, but given even St Mary’s can only place 18% of its graduates, I’d say there’s little or no chance of that happening these days.

  • Kevin Breslin

    Mr Buchanan: Does the Minister not accept that it is a barrier, and that the barrier is discrimination against teachers from the Unionist community?

    The real shame is he cannot say Protestant rather than Unionist, even before you get into a debate about Alex Kane’s “unicorns” there is no legislation in Catholic Schools stopping political unionism specifically, political views are a personal matter, a large group of eligible teachers in Catholic schools come from outside the Irish nationalist tradition.

    How many Catholic teachers in Northern Ireland are English, Scottish, Welsh, Gibraltarian or whatever who may be pro-Union or just don’t care already do teach in schools here? Is Mr Buchanan so detached from “that” community?

    For all we know, some pupils in the Catholic sector have a protestant nationalist history teacher and a former RAF chaplin teaching R.E.

    The Catholic Church in Ireland at an administrative level doesn’t care about Irish nationalism. Will Unionists not realize that?

  • streetlegal

    McGuinness himself has a very close association with the Catholic bishops. This goes back to the 1980s when he underwent some kind ‘conversion’ under the direction of Catholic clerics, which led him to turn his back on armed struggle.

  • mac tire

    Now Chris, I’m a lapsed Catholic – have no time for it. But “Catholic ideology”? Really? Good job you don’t deal in hyperbole.

  • barnshee

    Indeed– you have to be able to “contribute to the catholic ethos” of the school (essentially the story of how the English inflicted terrible injustice on Irish catholics who were/are pristine, innocent and never threw a stone in anger,all prods are bad and are doomed to go to hell)-but all carried out in an ethos with a caring manner

  • mac tire

    Barnshee, you probably read all the above from the same book that contains “The Sinn Féin Oath”.
    I went to a Christian Brothers’ primary school and a Christian Brothers’ grammar school. What you have written above bears no resemblance whatsoever to my experience and learning.
    All I can say is that you are wrong but I doubt if you’ll listen.

  • bigboss

    Ahhh i despair at these comments from people who don’t have a clue about how Catholic Education works, which seems to be 90% of those here. The certificate is required not only here in NI but for all catholic schools all over the world! It does not descriminate against anyone, its simply another qualification thats required because every teacher in a catholic school has to able to teach religion. Many MANY people of other faiths take the certificate in england without a 2nd thought. Only here in NI do they take the secterian line.

  • Jay

    Get rid of catholic schools now! The students constantly out perform us loyal loyalists. Heaven forbid the next generation of themmuns would not only the majority but academically better off! This appeasement must stop now. We will not be the generation to fail Ulster (our exams are another story however)

  • Kevin Breslin

    Catholic schools are originally a British invention, a response to the penal laws. Maybe Unionists should take the Republican trick of “Blaming the Brits.” if they see it as such a problem.

  • chrisjones2

    From

    http://www.stmarys-belfast.ac.uk/academic/re.asp

    The Certificate comprises three main elements:

    lectures which focus on key issues in biblical studies, theology and catechetics;

    tutorials which familiarise students with the RE programmes in use in schools and assist them with preparing teaching materials for the teaching of RE in schools;

    and supervision and direction of students by members of the RE department during periods of school-based work.

    What would you call it?

  • chrisjones2

    Anyone I know Educated by the Brothers (in the 60s and 70s) has a fairly cynical view on the catholic approach to morality – especially in terms of violence to children

  • chrisjones2

    I am happy to listen but don’t understand why an understanding of Catholic sacraments is required to teach say Maths or Geography or why this anti-deluvian nonsense – or the Proddie equivalent – should be forced on young teachers

  • streetlegal

    There are a couple of political issues at work here. First is the unwavering desire of the the Irish Catholic bishops to hold on to their control of the education of Catholic children. Second is the ‘Catholic jobs for Catholic teachers’ campaign. Both of these are backward looking and extremely unhelpful in bridging the gulf in a society which is so deeply divided.

  • chrisjones2

    or that Politicians can similarly discriminate

  • Stephen Elliott

    AQW 39596/11-15
    Mr Jim Allister
    Traditional Unionist Voice
    North Antrim

    Tabled Date: 01/12/2014
    Answered On Date: 10/12/2014
    Priority Written: No
    Question:
    To ask the Minister of Education when he will ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland to withdraw the UK derogation on the European Convention on Human Rights that allows religious discrimination in the employment of teachers and contributes to the economic costs of division in Northern Ireland society.

    Answer:
    OFMdFM has responsibility for the Fair Employment and Treatment (NI) Order 1998 (FETO) legislation, which governs the exception under Article 71.
    I have previously stated that I do not support the exemption, but any removal of

    this under FETO is a matter for OFMdFM to take forward.

    It would appear that Mr Allister was ahead of the crowd, including the media, on raising this issue as part of DEL minister Farry’s task to reconfigure Initial Teacher Training as part of Ofmdfm plan for Shared Education.

  • Sir Rantsalot

    Nobody wants to ADD sectarian requirements in state schools!

  • mickfealty

    You don’t imagine that they just snuck in under the sectarian divide somehow and had to keep it a secret from us do you?

  • barnshee

    why not they are a sectarian requirement in catholic schools

  • barnshee

    Experience old chap-experience

  • barnshee

    “How many Catholic teachers in Northern Ireland are English, Scottish, Welsh, Gibraltarian or whatever who may be pro-Union or just don’t care already do teach in schools here? Is Mr Buchanan so detached from “that” community?

    For all we know, some pupils in the Catholic sector have a protestant nationalist history teacher and a former RAF chaplin teaching R.E.”

    A quick survey of 5 catholic secondary schools in the NE -the answer appears to be er none

  • barnshee

    Facts don`t you just hate them

  • mac tire

    Your statement is still wrong, old fish. Put this new found knowledge down to experience.

  • mac tire

    Chris, I’m not sure what you are attempting to suggest here. But knowing your usual snide replies, I’m sure it’s not too good.

  • Kevin Breslin

    Do you deny that many of the teachers in Catholic school in NI were born and raised in England, Spain, France or elsewhere and may not see themselves as Irish or Irish nationalist?

    RAF Chaplin was a hyperbolic example, I see no effect of CMSs controlling political identities through employment legislation, which effectively is the real elephant in the room for Mr Buchanan.

  • Kevin Breslin

    What’s a Roman Catholic “background” got to do with anything?

    For crying out loud there even are Roman Catholics who don’t come from a “Roman Catholic background”, they are called converts.

  • mickfealty

    Quite Kevin. In France, church schools (which are popular) are also all private. Besides, the rest of the world doesn’t have our utterly draconian, literal, even fundamentalist approach to equality issues.

  • mickfealty

    Just because they were the only ones (that we knew of) who were Protestant. Not being able to sit for the certificate was no bar back then, and I don’t think it is now in that same school, even though it still Catholic run it also has integrated status.

  • Kevin Breslin

    But check your history, English Catholics invented the Catholic School system and imported the over here to Ireland.

    Secondly, You are confusing RE and History teachers. R.E and History is covered by the same slyabus.

    Once the certificate is gone, what next are we going to have lectures from Proffessor Ruth Paterson next?

  • chrisjones2

    It does not descriminate against anyone, its simply another qualification thats required because every teacher in a catholic school has to able to teach religion.

    Thats whats called indirect discrimination. There is no way ever teacher has to teach RE …its a made up requirement to lock otehr religions our

  • chrisjones2

    ,,,,provided they follow the religious ethos of the school’

  • chrisjones2

    I know a number of Catholic male friend who were educated by the bothers. The education was rigorous but so was the discipline they say. I have no direct knowledge

  • chrisjones2

    To ask the First Minister when he will withdraw the provision in Fair Employment and Treatment (NI) Order 1998 (FETO) legislation that allows political discrimination in the supply of goods, facilities or services provided by, or on behalf of, a party registered under the Registration of Political Parties Act 1998 where the essential nature of the goods, facilities or services requires them to be provided only to persons holding or not holding a particular political opinion;

  • Stephen Elliott

    Mr Allister was two months ahead of the crowd on this issue. Even with your best effort at distraction you are a day late and a dollar or two short.

  • Kevin Breslin

    True, we do not live in France, but in a model that goes somewhere between how such schools are run in England and Wales, Scotland and the Republic of Ireland, and then the added dimension of having to deal with Northern Ireland too.

  • Kevin Breslin

    My point was on Religion not Politics … Sherlock Holmes was written by a person of that religious ethos Arthur Conan Doyle, and the current Welfare minister in the UK is also of that religious ethos Iain Duncan Smith. So are Arthur Conan Doyle and Iain Duncan Smith, Irish nationalists because they are Roman Catholics?

    Doyle is of Irish decent, but he was a Unionist.

  • chrisjones2

    With respect that isn’t the issue. I dont care at all about the teachers politics. They are being selected by religion

  • chrisjones2

    Two of them went on to be very senior teachers so I do trust their recollections

  • chrisjones2

    Pourquoi? Goose? Gander?

    I support both

  • chrisjones2

    Like one of those cheap boiler conversions?

  • aber1991

    What do you mean by “private?”
    Are Catholic schools in Northern Ireland not “private” – the property of the Church which controls them?

  • aber1991

    Why should there by any Protestant teachers in a Catholic school? Why should there by any lapsed Catholics in a Catholic school?
    Catholic schools exist to promote Catholicism. A teacher who is not a practising Catholic cannot contribute to that purpose just as a teacher who is not effective in the French language should not be engaged as a teacher of French.
    Why are so many anti-Catholics so determined to get power over the defenceless children of Catholics?

  • Catcher in the Rye

    Yeah, but how many Catholic schools all over the world are exclusively state funded ?

  • aber1991

    You could add that the law allows State owned schools to discriminate on grounds of religion. The UK government sought an exemption from EU law on that matter. The exemption was not required for denominational schools as they were already exempt from the EU Directive.

    The exemption of State-owned schools in Northern Ireland from the Directive of the EU is not unique to Northern Ireland as you asserted some time ago on another thread. The UK government sought and received an exemption in respect of those State schools in Scotland which, at one time, had been Catholic schools.

    The Equality Commission administers the law. It has no duty to make the law.

  • aber1991

    What is wrong with the Catholic bishops wanting to protect Catholicism?

    What is wrong with a policy of Catholic teachers for Catholic children?

    I suspect that integrated education is a Protestant plot to eliminate unemployment among Protestant teachers at the expense of Catholic teachers. Can you prove that it is not?

  • aber1991

    So you are insinuating that State property is Protestant property.
    So are you are inciting the State to discriminate against Catholics.
    Why do you want power over Catholic children?

  • aber1991

    There already are sectarian requirements in State schools. The Protestant Churches have the right to appoint 50% of the voting governors of ALL State-owned primary and secondary schools – including 3 State-owned schools all of whose pupils are the children of Catholics.

    Moreover, Catholic schools employing only practising Catholics is not equivalent to STATE schools discriminating against Catholics – unless you think that STATE property is PROTESTANT property.

  • aber1991

    In 1970 Catholic students at Bessbrook Technical College staged a walk-out. It emerged that about 70% of the students attending the College were Catholics but the college had 12 Protestant teachers and only 1 Catholic teacher.

  • barnshee

    “Do you deny that many of the teachers in Catholic school in NI were born and raised in England, Spain, France or elsewhere and may not see themselves as Irish or Irish nationalist?”

    There are none in the five schools I identify above

  • barnshee

    The EC (65% catholic) has enough problems of its own

  • barnshee

    “Once the certificate is gone, what next are we going to have lectures from Proffessor Ruth Paterson next?!

    Her version is as accurate as the catholic version

  • barnshee

    How many catholics were appropriately qualified ?
    How many applied for posts ?

  • Brian O’Neill

    Up to 50% the intake of state schools like methody are now Catholic and the Catholic at these kids seems to be performing as good as ever Jay.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Barnshee, I note that the text you quote uses a small “c” in catholic. So I imagine that it may be using the word in its generalised sense, as in the Oxford English dictionary definition:

    “Including a wide variety of things; all-embracing.
    example: ‘her tastes are pretty catholic’ ”

    I’m sure that if they had been referreing to “the ethos of the Roman Catholic Church”, they would have followed customary practice and used a capitol “C”.

    But perhaps you have accidently substituted a small “c” yourself, or may be attempting to withhold the respect proper usage accords the church, all very confusing.

  • Reader

    My wife got a CCRE from Glasgow after leaving Stranmillis. The essays were entirely on religious matters, and are at about the level that would prepare a teacher to cover a key stage 3 RE class as a one-off. The whole process was at a very low intensity spread over a couple of months.
    The certificate is probably useful for teachers looking for extra subbing work. But I doubt it would put a teacher on equal terms looking for permanent work in an extremely tight job market.

  • carl marks

    In most other countries the Catholic school system is private, the parents pay for the child to attend the school and the school takes no (or very little) money from the state, so a private business and if they want all teachers to have the Catholic certificate then that is their right (I may not like it but that’s the way it is) however, in NI the Catholic schools get a great deal of their funding from the public purse this changes things.
    Now i can understand why a RE teacher should have a CE cert to teach Catholics RE, but how can it be needed for a Geology, Maths, or a French class, I have asked this question on other threads and apart from a irrelevant history class on great “Catholic” scientist’s from history , no attempt to explain how that affects the teaching of subjects in the classroom.
    So lets even the playing fields, Teachers with the CE cert can teach in state schools then it is only fair that teacher’s without the CE cert should be able to teach in Catholic schools.
    Non Catholics pay taxes as well as Catholics and those taxes
    help to pay towards the Catholic schools and as such why should they be at a
    disadvantage regarding employment in Catholic schools!

  • PJ Rea

    As a former Catholic student of Stranmillis UC, the only opportunity for any Stran student was to complete the Catholic Religious Certificate through the University of Glasgow.

    The bigger barrier to completing it was the £500 cost, reimbursed on completion. In addition, an online course didn’t exactly surround me with a Catholic ethos and it was therefore hard to properly engage in the course without peer contact.

    From asking staff, it seemed that informal discussion about Stran students completing the certificate at St Marys (or another Church facility) was quickly curtailed.

    I do think the certificate is needed in Catholic schools (given the nature of this sector) but creating barriers to entry in NI is clear to see, and hopefully Jim Clarke of CCMS keeps to his word of introducing the opportunity to gain the certificate on the job, as is the case in England.

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    Erm, do you mean there was no option to study with St Mary’s?

  • PJ Rea

    Only way to get Catholic Certificate for non-St Mary’s students in the North is an online distance learning course through the University of Glasgow.

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    Wow. Cheers. That’s mental. (isn’t it?!)

  • Jay

    I couldn’t send my William to a catholic school. Doesn’t matter how good it is. Them parents at Methody must have no morals whatsoever!!

  • barnshee

    Its the overall “ethos” you must be able to contribute to the “ethos” you know the gentle kind compassionate sharing “ethos” (in the schools attended by PIRA memebers etc)

  • barnshee

    So are you are inciting the State to discriminate against Catholics.
    Why do you want power over Catholic children?

    Nope level playing field required
    No jobs for prods in state funded catholic schools
    No jobs for catholics in other state funded schools

  • barnshee

    But perhaps you have accidently substituted a small “c” yourself,

    couuld not be bothered wrining out the whole thing

  • puffen

    Was taught by World War 2 vets in a prod school, bet you our teachers could beat the crap out of yours lol

  • carl marks

    you know it would help if you cut out all the mopery, how is it possibly relevant to the issue about PIRA members attending schools (and what schools, got Names or are you dragging up 30 year old stuff) , now try to pay attention I am trying to get a answer from a supporter of the Catholic School system i.e. someone who knows what they are talking about, you fail on both counts!

  • aber1991

    Catholic schools in Northern Ireland received 100% State funding from the autumn of 1992. By that time most of the Catholic schools had been built. Protestant schools known as “Controlled schools” had been receiving 100% State funding since 1931 – even thought they were controlled by the Protestant churches. When will the Catholic community be compensated for the 91 years of educational discrimination from 1931 to 1992? When will individual Catholics be compensated for the damage done to their careers due to having been educated in under-resourced schools?

  • aber1991

    IS Methody a STATE school? I thought that it is a voluntary grammar school. I still think that.

  • aber1991

    Why should a person with your anti-Catholic views be allowed to have power over the defenceless little children of Catholics?

  • aber1991

    The State funds nothing, taxpayers do. Many taxpayers are Catholics. As well as paying tax, they contributed to their parishes to part-fund the building of Catholic schools. Why should you or any other heretic be allowed to free-load on a Catholic parish?

    Once again, why are you so keen to get power over defenceless Catholic children?

  • aber1991

    I do not know the answer to those questions. Can you explain why the college had 11 Prod teachers and only 1 Catholic teacher – even though about 70% of its students were Catholics?

    Can you prove that integrated education is not a Prod plot to eliminate unemployment among Prod teachers at the expense of Catholic teachers?

  • SeaanUiNeill

    The point is, the use of either large or small “c” changes the actual meaning of the quote.

  • barnshee

    The reason “catholic” schools were not 100% funded was because “catholics” insisted that the Church retain ownership of schools—Please explain why the state should build schools and then hand them over to to the catholic church?

  • barnshee

    “Are Catholic schools in Northern Ireland not “private” – the property of the Church which controls them?”

    No

    http://www.deni.gov.uk/index/schools-and-infrastructure-2/schools-management/79-school_governors_pg/schools_79_governor-roles-and-responsibilities_pg/schools_79_chapter-21-school-premises_pg.htm#controlled-schools_alink

    Voluntary Grammar and Voluntary Maintained Schools (including Irish Medium)

    Voluntary grammar and maintained schools are in most cases owned by trustees. For the Department of Education (DE) to pay capital grants to a voluntary school, the school premises must be ‘vested’ in the names of trustees and DE. This means that the premises cannot be disposed of without the consent of DE.

    Grant Maintained Integrated (GMI)

    GMI (and Irish Medium) schools which have satisfied DE’s criteria for long-term viability, become eligible for capital grant-aid. Their buildings and land become owned by their Trustees and become vested in the names of the Trustees and DE, in the same way as other voluntary schools.

  • barnshee

    “you know it would help if you cut out all the mopery, how is it possibly relevant to the issue about PIRA members attending schools (and what schools”

    Because so much is made of the effects the” benefits” arising from the “catholic ethos” not to mention its superiority —-and the contrast of numbers of its “graduates” appearing in the courts-not to mention the apparent hordes who did not appear

  • barnshee

    Have you forgotten I oppose int ed?

    “I do not know the answer to those questions. Can you explain why the college had 11 Prod teachers and only 1 Catholic teacher – even though about 70% of its students were Catholics?”

    Are you suggesting the students should be teachers?
    &5% of teh students at QUB are catholic
    Should 75% of Lecturers shd be Catholic?

  • barnshee

    READ MY POST

    No jobs for prods in state funded catholic schools
    No jobs for catholics in other state funded schools

  • mickfealty

    I mean they operate almost entirely without state funding.

  • carl marks

    of course your right the catholic school system is the only one that produced killers, remind me what school system did the Shankill butchers attend oh and weren’t they members of the OO! see what I mean, you wave a shroud, I wave a shroud and while you are diverting the whole thing down a sectarian mopish ally, the people in favour of the Catholic School system use your distraction to get out of answering the real question’s!
    Why don’t you and amber go off alone somewhere quiet together, you are mirror images of each other and you can recite your old dead mantras all day long!

  • barnshee

    “of course your right the catholic school system is the only one that produced killers, remind me what school system did the Shankill butchers attend oh and weren’t they members of the OO! see what I mean, you wave a shroud, I wave a shroud ”

    You are( deliberately ?) missing the point
    Other schools produce murderers -(tho not in the same volume?) What these other schools do NOT do is claim a superior “ethos” which- if existing in actuality would produce pupils of such forbearance and enlightenment that ANY violence would be an anathema.

    State schools -on the stats appear to have provided fewer murderers

  • carl marks

    of course you are right, it is all down to catholic schools, there are no other factors involved,
    of course you left out the fact that the catholic school system produces more much graduates, doctor’s etc., but of course are not interested in education at all you are just going through your usual little agenda,
    now this is a much more complex a subject than themuns versus ussuns, so unless you have something to put forward that is actually relevant to the subject then I will move on and see if I can find someone who has!

  • Gerrynearly

    That is nonsense. I have taught in several Catholic schools and do not have this certificate and I know plenty of others who do not have it. It is an advantage to have it, but it is not essential. And I have never been required to teach RE

  • aber1991

    Because the State build schools and, in 1968, handed control of ALL of them to the Protestant Churches.

    P.S. In 1930, the government made an offer to the Protestant Churches and did not make the same offer to the Catholic Church even though the Catholic bishops indicated that they were interested. The offer was that, in return for transferring ownership of their schools to the State, the former owners of each school would be allowed to appoint 50% of the governors of that school. Why was that same offer not made to the Catholic Church? In 1918 a similar offer was made by the UK government to the Catholic Church in Scotland and the Catholic bishops accepted the offer.

  • aber1991

    In France Catholic schools do not operate entirely or almost entirely without State funding.

  • aber1991

    Who appoints the trustees? Who has the right to dismiss the Trustees and replace them with other Trustees?

    Stop trying to be clever. The Catholic Church owns the schools which it controls – all of them.

  • aber1991

    State schools have produced far more murderers than Catholic schools.

  • aber1991

    So you are equating state funded Catholic schools with
    state funded schools.

    When you Prods go to the expense of building Protestant schools, you will then have the right to refuse to allow Catholics to teach in them. Until you do that, you will just have to get used to sharing State-owned schools with Catholics – just as you Prods are going to have to share the State with Catholics.