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Application form - faith reference

Discussion in 'Jobseekers' started by sgnqt17, Apr 7, 2018.

  1. sgnqt17

    sgnqt17 New commenter

    I am currently completing an application form for a C of E primary school. It asks for 3 references, one of which is a Faith Reference from your Priest/Minister. It goes on to say “if you do not use your parish priest/minister, an explanation why should be given.”

    I do not have a faith reference as I do not attend church (no reason why, I just never have) What would be a sufficient explanation?

  2. harsh-but-fair

    harsh-but-fair Star commenter

    Probably not for that sort of school.
  3. revstevew

    revstevew New commenter

    Drop me a tenner and we can come to a deal

    Seriously, if you are CofE and don't attend you might struggle, better would be to be an atheist/agnostic or of a different faith group. I would be surprised if that alone disallowed you, I know a number of Catholic schools that have non-RC staff.
  4. sgnqt17

    sgnqt17 New commenter

    I did actually grow up going to Catholic schools and did attend church when I was younger. Eventually Sunday’s became the day I visited my grandparents because it was the only day I had free.

    The school that I am applying for is Church of England - I have never come across giving an explanation before on a C of E application.
  5. mbee1

    mbee1 Occasional commenter

    Some Church schools require a "faith" reference some don't. I'm Chair of Governors at a non church school and go to church but I'm not a governor at our church school. It so annoys me that our church school doesn't require staff to have a particular faith. The school uses the church regularly yet we never see any staff in church or at church functions including the HT. There's much debate about faith schools and should they be allowed to select. I'm a great believer that faith schools should be able to select and that should extend to staff having to be Christian and a regular church attender.
    I suggest that school isn't of you but there are church schools out there that won't be bothered (rightly or wrongly) about your faith or lack of it.
  6. digoryvenn

    digoryvenn Lead commenter

    If you are applying for a class teacher post then just leave the faith reference blank as it is not essential to have one.
    If they insist on an explanation, just be honest and say that you do not attend church regularly.
    Don't worry about it and apply anyway.
  7. cornflake

    cornflake Senior commenter

    You need to look at whether the school is VA or VC.

    The latter (VC) schools are NOT faith schools and there is no reason why any member of staff should be selected on grounds of personal belief! I think they have more than enough to do without being expected to attend Church or Church functions in their own time. If, as a governor, you expect staff to do this in a VC school, perhaps a chat with the Diocese could be useful for you. (Apologies if you are referring to a VA school - but thinking that CofE VC schools are faith schools REALLY bugs me!)
  8. cornflake

    cornflake Senior commenter

  9. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

    Sorry, this going to bug you then :), but most VC schools are officially Faith schools ie they are included in a statutory instrument which designates schools as having a religious character. This is a typical SI, it lists both VA and VC schools. Not all VA or VC schools are faith schools designated as having a religious character - I'm Chair of Governors at an local authority VA school that is not and never has been a faith school. But the great majority of VA and VC schools are faith schools.

    A VA school can require all teachers to be practising members of the religious denomination (although CofE ones rarely do) whereas a VC one can only require that of a restricted number of teachers, the 'reserved teachers', usually the head and anyone appointed specifically to teach RE. See pages 7 and 8 of this parliamentary paper from last year.

    Neither VA nor VC can require teachers to attend Church or Church functions in their own time.
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2018
  10. cornflake

    cornflake Senior commenter

    "most VC schools are officially Faith schools"
    I'm not entirely convinced that is true (your link states only 33% of schools in the UK are), although I stand corrected that VC schools can be designated as Faith schools. Fortunately for me, the VC schools I have worked in (and particularly the one I am Head teacher at!) have always been very explicit about NOT being Faith schools and have placed no restrictions on any level of appointment :)
  11. mbee1

    mbee1 Occasional commenter

    VC schools are faith schools but in the control of the LA (or Academy Trust these days). VA schools are where the Governors are the employers. All are faith schools and all still have foundation Governors generally appointed by the local church PCC (Parochial Church Council). Faith schools, especially VA, vary in their admissions criteria and also in staff recruitment. Catholic schools are more likely to want someone who goes to church and are somewhat stricter in whether they can go onto leadership within the school.

    My daughter teachers in quite a strict VA CofE primary. Blasphemy is not allowed and results in immediate suspension for the rest of the day. An Act of Worship takes place every day except in Reception and the church is used regularly, with the Vicar and Curate in school every week for assembly. The HT is a practising Christian. As a practicing Christian myself my outlook is "this is how it should be in a faith school".
  12. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

    It says 98% of the 2,048 Primary VC schools are Faith schools (there're only 42 VC secondaries)


    Most VC schools I know do not act as if they were Faith schools and do not require staff to be practising CofE, so my experience is like yours. I suspect that the difference between our experiences and the official DFE figures is that while nearly all VC schools have been officially designated by statutory instrument as 'schools with a religious character' most of them in practice act as if they were not faith schools. VC status gives them limited powers anyway (compared to VA) and they aren't obliged to use those powers. It's down to the governors to decide.
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2018
    cornflake likes this.
  13. 8sycamore

    8sycamore Occasional commenter

    And it so annoys me that my taxes have to go towards paying for these discriminatory establishments. I have no issue with totally private schools requiring a faith commitment, but not state schools.
  14. welshwizard

    welshwizard Established commenter Forum guide

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