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Interview in Catholic school for a non Catholic - please help!

Discussion in 'Trainee and student teachers' started by snarfy, May 27, 2007.

  1. Hey!

    After what feels like eleventy million application forms I finally have an interview!

    It in my dream school, but the school is Catholic, which I am not. I am a little worried about the questions they might ask me, does anyone have any ideas what kind of Qs they might ask? I have had experience in this school so they know me very well and so know Im not Catholic, but if they ask me something related to me supporting the Catholic ethos of the school, Im not sure what I would say!
  2. Hey!

    After what feels like eleventy million application forms I finally have an interview!

    It in my dream school, but the school is Catholic, which I am not. I am a little worried about the questions they might ask me, does anyone have any ideas what kind of Qs they might ask? I have had experience in this school so they know me very well and so know Im not Catholic, but if they ask me something related to me supporting the Catholic ethos of the school, Im not sure what I would say!
  3. Its just that you wont stand at the front of the room and start praching about how abortion is the right of every female and that divorce is acceptable.

    Also that you will go to class masses and lead prayers.

    If you have been there for a few months you will have seen how catholic the school actually is (some arent really catholic and some say prayers 4 times a day!) and if you would fit in so you have an advantage.
  4. i think you just need to say that you support the general ethos of the school (caring community, look after the individual, that sort of thing) and are willing to participate in church services etc as required.
  5. Is it primary of secondary?
    Some primary schools can be very 'Catholic' and expect all teachers to actively teach the faith and encourage children in actively practising it, even for non-Catholic staff. You need to be aware of the school's expectation and show willingness to do whatever is required.
    In secondaries, they want good subject specialist first and foremost, and generally don't expect staff to do more than respecting their Catholic ethos by attending (but not necessarile taking active part) in Masses and assemblies. It will be different for RE and more pastoral posts.
    It's as well to remember that when accepting a job offer, you will be expected to sign an undertaking that you will not do anything to undermine the religious character of the school or to bring the Catholic Church into disrepute.
  6. it is a primary school. I am a little bit worried as I live with my boyfiend and we are not married, and I know that can be a bit of a problem. Im just worried they are going to ask me something in the interview and Im gonna trip up!
  7. You will have to support the ethos of the school, including saying parayers, doing the sign of the cross and attending mass when required. In my children's school (Catholic, although we are CofE), I know of a member of staff who lives with her partner and another who has a child but has never married. As long as you don't advertise your personal life, you should be ok.
  8. Make sure you visit the school.

    I'm a Christian so quite liked the idea of a Catholic school. Was a bit too 'formal' for me tho (not saying they all are) but give me a city centre multi-cultural school anyday!!
  9. Hi,

    Thaks so much for your replies! Really has helped put my mind at rest.

    I know the school really well having spent time there before and during my PGCE and so they also know me and that I am not Catholic. I love the school and the atmosphere and in fact this was the school that made me certain I wanted to be a teacher, so this really is my dream job.

    Thanks again for all the advice!!
  10. gruffaloschild

    gruffaloschild New commenter

    I went to a Catholic school for an interview and was asked if I was married or not. Not sure that they should be asking really but what can you say to that really?

    I didn't get it so am not sure I'm the best to offer adivce.
  11. hey Gruffalos Child!

    I did a placement in a different Catholic school, where I was asked similar questions and also about my faith, which made me feel very uncomfortable. I was also told by my class teacher that she had worked with someone who got pregnant whilst not married andf it was 'suggested' that she might like to find another job! I find it shocking that they can ask questions like that in interviews! If you are willing to provide a good role model for the children and not go into a Da Vince style 'its all rubbish anyway' rant at the front of the class, it shouldnt matter.

    Im not sure that i got the same vibe from this school, indeed it was onyl Father who asked if I was Catholic, but because he is the chair of Governors, I am a bit sceptical of my chances and cant help but thik if a practicing Catholic came along, I wouldnt stand a chance.
  12. When is the interview? Good luck for it, and let us know the outcome! xx
  13. rach1968

    rach1968 New commenter

    I have been working in a Catholic school - had my final placement in the same one and am doing some supply there too. I'm not Catholic and have been told by other teachers at the school that I would probably find it nigh on impossible to get a job in any of the catholic schools if a similarly qualified catholic went for the job. Seems unfair but having been turned down by two catholic schools in the last couple of weeks, it is probably true!

  14. I know for a fact that Catholic schools don't always take Catholic teachers ahead of non-Catholics. Some heads will take the view that a good teacher is better than a good Catholic.

    I am a Catholic and have just got a job in a Catholic primary school. They only asked one question about my being a Catholic and that was would I be prepared to follow the ethos of the school by leading by example..there was nothing about what you know about Catholicism or the Gospels or Jesus. i wouldn't worry at all! Good luck.
  15. Aw thanks very much for that! Perked me up a bit! I would be gutted to loose out on something like that, if it was just that Im not right for the job then so be it, but because of my faith would be a bit hard to swallow.

    Thanks again
  16. But in this case it's faith that is important. Catholic schools would not be 'special' if the majority of staff there were not Catholics with faith. Catholic parents want to send their children to catholic schools because of their catholic nature. This is not to say that Catholics are better than anybody else and it is certainly not because catholics don't value people of other faiths or of none - we are all equal.
    I don't want to knock your confidence and wish you the best of luck but it is annoying when people complain about catholic candidates getting preference for jobs in catholic schools. If I applied for a job in a school that excelled at languages but I had no interest or skill in this area then I would expect that a candidate with languages to be preferred over me.
    Out of interest what is it about the school that makes you want to apply? More generally why would someone who's not a catholic be really keen to teach in a catholic school? (These questions are asked out of interest from someone who has worked in catholic and non-catholic sector. One reason I find it easier to work in catholic sector is that when I have children in class with terrible home lives in the catholic sector I am able to talk to them about how much they are loved by God which I wouldn't do in a state school.)
  17. The catholic ethos of the school will pretty much be a Christian ethos. All you need to tell them is that you are willing to promote catholic values within the school and the christian way of life.
  18. I would like this job because of the Catholic/Christian values promoted in the school. Despite not be a Cathjolic, I am a baptised and confirmed Christian and so find it hard to understand why my faith wouldnt count for as much, purely because I am of a different denomination of the same religion.
  19. rach1968

    rach1968 New commenter

    Hi snarfy
    I have just reread my thread and didn't mean to make you panic! It sounds really despondant! As someone else said, some Catholic schools are more so than others and therefore their attitudes will differ. in my area the Catholic schools differ greatly but the ones I applied to are probably the 'more' catholic than some of the others! Just say what you have been saying on this thread and I'm sure you won't go far wrong. Good Luck.

  20. I've just completed a placement in a catholic school (secondary) and many of the staff were not catholic. I think the only posts you had to be catholic for were head, deputy and RE teachers.

    Personally I wouldn't want to work in any catholic school (even though this was a great school) because I felt so hypocritcal when i was there. Esp during form and assembley. I also felt that I was constantly watching what I said. I was involved with sex education and did not agree with how they delivered it (not such an issue in primary I guess).
    I felt uncomfortable with all the references to god and praying (even within my lessons) when pupils used to refer to god as creating the world and everything in it.

    I am not anti catholicism or religion as such (many of my family are catholic). But I think you have to be careful as a non-catholic that you would feel comfortable upholding their ethos etc. I found out I defintely wouldn't.

    Good luck

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