Finding a public school in London when you are atheist


We'll be moving from Switzerland to London soon for my new job. We need to find a school for my son who is 3.5yo.

From what I gathered I have the choice between public (I meant state schools) and private schools. Discussing with future colleagues, it seems state schools may be a challenge as we are atheists, and most stateschools seem to be either catholic, or school of england. I don't mind who founded the school, but 2 things concern me : a/ it seems some schools require a letter of reco from your priest, and obviously we wouldn't get any b/ I don't want my son to have religious teaching (at least not specific to one religion)

(note : this is "I've been told" things, I don't know if it is valid everywhere or if it was specific to schools in a neighborhood)

Is there a way to get a list of all state schools that are "agnostic"? How likely is it to get a slot for our son as "new movers"?

London | 👁 784 | Posted 2018-11-03 | Share on Facebook | Twitter | Google+

| Modified: 2018-11-03 | Author:


mimidaler 7 months ago

So I'm not in London, but I'm a governor in a state school, one of my children attends a church of England school and Im athiest. He doesn't have to worship, but they do encourage values and morals, and taking time to reflect. There are children of all faiths that attend the school and thier beliefs are respected. I would say, find somewhere to live, then have a look around all schools in the area regardless of if they are church affiliated, and regardless of ofsted rating.

Jubijub 7 months ago

We are both French speakers. We indeed saw the "French" offering in west London (Lyce Charles de Gaulle, etc...). Fees are OK, they are billingual if you wish so (which we would, going to England is a superb opportunity for our son to be bilingual), but they tend to be in some of the most expensive areas of London :) I take note of Mumsnet, and will check that.

OldGoldMould 7 months ago

Whats your first language? There are a lot of French primary schools with quite reasonable fees, if you speak French - particularly in West London. As for state schools... they vary in quality. Check the Ofsted reports. You will likely have little choice as to which one you use due to small catchment areas. Catholic schools tend to be difficult to get into if you arent catholic. CofE schools less likely to have religious criteria - and will probably be a real mix of religions. As for private schools - you may be surprised how popular an option this is, granted the cost. People tend to apply early, so if you want to take this route you may have slightly limited options. Not all private schools are great quality. You will probably get better answers on mumsnet - where they have a primary education forum, and people will be able to give very specific advice based on the area you are planning on living in etc.

Jubijub 7 months ago

Apologies, as you guessed I meant state school. I am aware of the catchment zone, the catch (pun intended) is that I don't know where we are going to live, which is going to be dependant on where we can find a school. It's a chicken & egg problem. My question was : how many state school would accept our kid despite the fact we are not Catholic / church of England ? For private we found schools between 8k to 16k, which we can spend but which I would like to avoid if I can (and redirect some of this in a better appartment)

WikiTextBot 7 months ago

Public school (United Kingdom) A public school in England and Wales is a long-established, student-selective, fee-charging independent secondary school that caters primarily for children aged between 11 or 13 and 18, and whose head teacher is a member of the Headmasters' and Headmistresses' Conference (HMC). The term "public" should not be misunderstood to mean that these schools are part of the public sector (that is, funded from public taxes); they are in fact part of the private sector. They were called "public" because they were open to the public - that is, anyone who could pay. The term "public school" in American English, and in Scotland (where a state-funded education system began roughly 300 years prior to England's), means something quite different: one administered by the local government to serve the children of that area. [ PM | Exclude me | Exclude from subreddit | FAQ / Information | Source ] Downvote to remove | v0.28

SuzyJTH 7 months ago

Are you aware that "public" school in the UK means what anyone else in the world would call a "private" school? They charge fees, some extortionately high, and most of our politicians and journalists were public school boys. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Public_school_(United_Kingdom) Private school therefore doesn't really mean much, the alternative to an independent (public/private) school is a state school, which are free to attend and all hugely oversubscribed. Eligibility to attend is based on catchment zones so you will have a better chance of getting your first choice if you live somewhere that isn't too popular with young families (read: London is a nightmare). But you will definitely get A school, it just might be further away or have a lower Ofsted rating. Of these, there are a few which are faith schools, but most public schools will admit your kid if you have the dosh. But it can be very serious dosh.

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