Faith schools back in court
By Simon Rocker
February 15, 2011
There is a new High Court looming next month involving a faith school…but at least this time it is not Jewish.
The Cardinal Vaughan Memorial School, a highly-regarded Catholic comprehensive in west London, has been at the centre of a long-running dispute over admissions.
The oversubscribed school gave priority for admission to the children of Catholics who were active in the church, using a religious points system (as has now been adopted by Jewish schools).
But the local Catholic diocese took issue with the system and complained to the Office of the Schools Adjudicator who forced the school to revise its entry rules.
According to the Catholic magazine, the Tablet, the school still takes account of when a child is baptised (the earlier, the better the chance of admission), whereas the diocese believes that the only requirement should simply be a child is baptised (as a Catholic).
The Tablet reports that the OSA has told MPs he is concerned “at Catholic schools’ preferring pupils who had been baptised within three or six months of their birth”.
The Court case does not address admissions directly, but involves a disagreement between parent governors and the diocese over the appointment of governors.
On the face of it, there may be no immediate implications for Jewish schools but you never can tell.
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