Catholic schools' requirement for a reference from your Parish priest
Local Catholic schools require an application for a place to be accompanied by a priest’s reference, confirming the catholicity of (at least one) parent and the child.
What is a practicing Catholic?
For the purposes of applications to Catholic schools the parish priest is asked to confirm that the child and (at least one) Catholic parent attend Mass each Sunday and each Holyday of Obligation.
Do schools ask the priest for more information about families?
Some schools ask for the reference to cover the two years or more prior to the date of your application. Some schools also ask for additional information regarding participation in the life of the parish and the Church. If they ask for this information, it will be clearly stated in the school’s admission criteria
- Full details of a school’s admission criteria should be available on that school’s website. Different schools have different admission criteria.
Signing In Sundays
It is impractical for a parish priest to be present at every Mass; notice every family; and remember their record of attendance over two years or longer. The signing-in process has been introduced to provide an objective record for the benefit of those families who do attend Mass.
- Signing-in Sundays happen regularly, and on those Sundays the invitation to sign in is always given in notices at the end of Mass.
What if I am not here on a Signing in Sunday?
Signing in Sundays are not held during Half Term and School Holidays. However if you are regularly absent on other Sundays it will be your responsibility to provide the school with evidence for Mass attendance on those Sundays.
Who needs to sign in?
Parents are advised to sign in during the two years prior to the closing date of applications for schools. At present applications for Secondary Schools are invited from July to October, and applications for Nursery and Reception in January.
At the time of writing all parents applying for admission to a place in a Catholic Nursery/Reception class; Secondary School; or 6th Form College for admission in 2015 or before are encouraged to sign in.
Additional help and guidance
To assist parents with their applications to Catholic schools Fr Allen will offer appointment times during June/July 2013 for any parent applying to schools for admission in 2014. Appointments can be made from the end of May 2013.
Other parents are welcome to come to discuss the process of applying to schools at the regular Rector’s Surgeries advertised in the weekly newsletter.