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Catholic schools for Catholic kids

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Graham Stewart | 10:08 UK time, Friday, 27 November 2009

A bishop has said Catholics should get priority entry to one of Scotland's top performing Catholic secondary schools, sparking a huge response on today's Morning Extra.

Philip Tartaglia, who's Bishop of Paisley, says plans by East Renfrewshire Council to narrow the catchment area for St Ninian's High School in Giffnock are "manifestly unjust". Redrawing the boundaries would mean some parents whose children currently attend feeder Catholic primaries would, in future, be denied a place at St Ninian's, while non-catholics in the new catchement would still get in.

The council is acting because the school is over capacity, with the roll projected to increase over the next few years.

In an official submission to the consultation, Bishop Tartaglia called for an alternative solution.

"We happily acknowledge that Catholic schools welcome the inclusion of children of all faiths and backgrounds and that they support all young people appropriately," he said.

"Nonetheless, we take the view that, where a Catholic school is over-subscribed, priority for admission should be given to Catholic children.

"We recommend that the council, as a matter of priority, should review its admissions policy to Catholic schools, ensuring that the demonstration of religious affiliation through the production of a child's baptismal certificate becomes the key criterion for admission."

Is this fair enough? Or should schools funded by the taxpayer be open to all children, regardless of their religious background?


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