London Oratory School told to halt ‘unfair’ entry

The Roman Catholic state school where Tony Blair sent his sons must change its “unfair” admissions policy, a national schools watchdog has warned. This is from the Times

The London Oratory School should not give preference to children whose parents arrange flowers in church or take choir practice, it was told.

In a ruling that could have implications for selective faith schools around the country, the Government’s Schools Adjudicator said that favouring the children of parents who provide long-term “service” to their local Catholic church is unjust.

The boys’ school, also chosen by Nick Clegg for his son Antonio, has academy status and does not select academically. It achieves outstanding GCSE and A level results, so is oversubscribed, and selects on the basis of children’s and parents’ Catholic faith.

Points are awarded for reading or singing in a church choir, playing an instrument, altar serving, arranging flowers, or visiting the sick in the four years before a child starts at the school.

The Schools Adjudicator, in a report released yesterday, said: “In principle, it feels unfair that any admission criterion should require parents to be thinking about school admissions four years ahead of the actual time of admission.”

David Lennard Jones, the adjudicator, also said that the system was “complicated”, favoured parents who were good at planning and that the “service” element discriminated against Catholics who practise in other ways.

More at:  London Oratory School told to halt ‘unfair’ entry (subscription required)

Your thoughts on this ruling and the admission system it describes at London Oratory? What criteria should be used instead to make a school like this inclusive if it still selects on the basis of faith? Please share in the comments or on twitter… 

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  1. Janet2

    Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” (New International Version).
    It seems the London Oratory has forgotten this key saying by constructing numerous hurdles to keep non-Catholics from entering.
    No school which purports to following the teaching of Christ should discriminate against any child but open its doors to children of all faiths and none.

  2. kennygfrederick

    SchoolsImprove-wonder why this has taken so long to challenge! Other schools are not allowed to pick & choose in this way! Equal access4all

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