Saturday, 7 January 2012

Who supports whom?

A few days ago I added a comment to the Bishop of Lancaster's new year pastoral letter. He was asking whether the Church should continue to fund schools that are Catholic in name only. That answer is easy - the sign should come down and funding should stop. He also puts the more difficult question as to whether Catholics should support schools in which the majority are not practising Catholics. I posted an answer which mentioned the numbers, and the enthusiasm and motivation of those who are Catholic.

The question of church school funding came up at the hustings meeting at the last general election. I had presumed that it was common knowledge that church schools supported the state financially with parishioners part-financing them, but there was a common view that the state supported church schools. So which view is right? Bishop Campbell highlighted the financial assistance given to those of all denominations and none who belong to Catholic schools. At least one candidate at the last general election and some in the audience felt that the state was supporting church schools.

I think the answer lies in the child's perspective. They are receiving a public education in a church school. It is not a private education in which the state has to step in if the parents aren't able to pay. Catholics are expected to contribute to the funding of theirs schools, over and above the amount they contribute in taxes, which they pay at the same rate as those whose children go to secular state schools. In effect they pay twice.

Change the world


  1. At the school I work at we have a growing section of pupils who are Eastern European...the majority of them are why pick a non-denominational school? I'm sorry..I don't have the answer, but there has to be a reason why these parents chose a non-denominatinonal school to a "religious" one.
    Perhaps "religious schools" at high school level have had their day?

  2. I think the answer is a little more complex but you may be right about some schools Sea. It may also simply be the case that the local Catholic school is oversubscribed.