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Is asking only for Catholics/Christians religious discrimination?

Discussion in 'Jobseekers' started by shamsh, Oct 25, 2011.

  1. shamsh

    shamsh Occasional commenter

    There are virtually no RE vacancies in my county- none so far this year, and I've been applying for permanent jobs further afield since having temporary contracts for the last two years, but would really like to stay in this area and a job came up in what is generally acknowledged to be a really lovely school, which happens to be a Catholic school. I'm not a Christian, and believe it is very important to encourage my classes to be open-minded and understanding of all faiths, because of this I have not applied to any faith schools since completing my PGCE but there are very few jobs out there. The school say in their advert "For this position, all things being equal, a Roman Catholic would be preferred but people of other Christian denominations who would enjoy working in a church school where all students have 10% of their curriculum as RE are welcome to apply."

    Is this religious discrimination? Is it worth my applying for the post if they could ignore my application on the basis of my religion or are RE teaching posts exempt from religious discrimination laws like PE jobs are from sex discrimination laws?
  2. minnieminx

    minnieminx New commenter

    They COULD, but if you make your application the very best that they get, then they will take you over a practising Catholic.

    The first thing faith schools look at, like any other school, is who is the very best teacher/candidate. Then, and only then, do they look at religious affiliation.

    I have worked in a few faith schools and for a couple you really wouldn't have known any different from a secular school.

    Go for it, but don't big up the looking at all faiths and thinking of them as equally acceptable view. Do make a big deal about how you would support their ethos.
  3. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter

    Teaching in faith schools
    Specific rules govern teaching roles in faith schools. Employment as a teacher in a faith school in England and Wales is governed by provisions in the School Standards and Framework Act 1998:
    • The law allows preference to be given, in connection with the appointment, promotion or remuneration of teachers at voluntary aided schools and independent schools, to those whose opinions accord with the school's religious doctrine, who attend worship in accordance with that doctrine, or are willing to teach religious education in accordance with that doctrine.
    • In the case of foundation or voluntary controlled schools the position is the same but the number of teachers so appointed ('reserved teachers') must be limited to one-fifth of the teaching staff.
    Despite these special rules employers will have to justify any potentially discriminatory conduct using the defences available to them in the religion or belief regulations (or other legislation as appropriate).

    If you are going to apply to work in a faith school (CoE or RC), then read these websites to give you a feel for it.
    And, of course, you should read the advice in the shortlisting clickables inside the Welcome thread, to get general tips on applications.
    Best wishes.
    TheoGriff. Member of the TES Careers Advice Service.
    I do Application and Interview one-to-ones, and also contribute to the Job Application Seminars. We look at application letters, executive summaries and interviews, with practical exercises that people really appreciate.

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