Friday, November 25, 2011

Catholic Schools

I have been reading about how the Bishops Conference of England & Wales met this week about the standards of Catholic schools nationwide. It reads much like any committee who are in charge of an educational structure under the wider monitoring of a centralised secular state. It firstly praises itself, whilst acknowledging some schools are underperforming.

The Catholic Education Service of England & Wales are developing a strategy which states that a good Catholic school is united in both "ethos and standards" and that as well as "prayer life and liturgy" it it achieves academic success.

I ask, why must the two be divided? Granted, there is always going to be variety in academic achievements depending of the area of the school, and it's socio-economic make-up. But I think good academic standards can be achieved through, and not independent of, Catholic ethos.

Thinking for a moment about my secondary education (half in State Education and half in Independent Catholic) I come to the conclusion that success (and failure) are due to the degree of two important factors: the strength of the pupil's family and upbringing, as well as genetics; and the extent to which the pupil rebels or goes off the rails. By the latter I mean sex, drugs and rock & roll (succumbing to extreme secular influences). I strongly recommend traditional Catholic moral teaching to optimise these things (well, except genetics!)

It is when pupils are strongly taught and led by Catholic social values that they have the stability to work hard, achieve their potential, and produce a school with good academic results and a strong attractive ethos.

We therefore need stronger rational arguments presented to our young, on sexual morals and social ethics; by genuinely Catholic and upright teachers who inspire admiration and emulation.

These incidentally are also the principles of a thriving homeschooling family.

-- Post From My iPhone


  1. Young people have no hope of a proper assessment of current secular norms unless there is a real bond between home and school which enables them to see a different world motivated by different ideals and insights. The pressures of today's fashionable attitudes and morals will overwhelm if the fundamentals are not properly in place. That's why we choose Catholc schools - to give them half a chance of emerging relatively unscathed. The Church must insist that Catholic education is just that.

  2. "Catholic" education in "Catholic" schools has been very poor in the last 30 years. Things have to change, with 90% of our young people emerging from school with only a vague idea of Christanity, never mind Catholicism.

  3. You're right that moral and academic education can't be separated. Sadly they are in Catholic schools in my experience, and far more emphasis is placed on the latter. In practice, management are far more devoutly committed to Ofsted than to Holy Church. Great blog by the way Doctor! I've added you to my blog-roll.