It seems that in all Catholic schools, the line: “Such-and-such NS is a Catholic school and may refuse to admit as a student a person who is not of Catholic denomination where it is proved that the refusal is essential to maintain the ethos of the school.”

Have any of you any thoughts on this? I’m asking genuinely out of interest as it reads really badly to me as not being in the spirit of inclusion.

Apart from the fact that Catholic schools, rightly or wrongly, are the only faith group not allowed to discriminate on enrollment, (wrongly, in my opinion – no one should have this right,) and the fact that the line is probably illegal, the sentiment behind it really jars to my ears.

How can a 5 year old (or even a 12 year old) be a threat to the ethos of a school, and how would it be measured or decided upon? And, anyway, what a mad question to be thinking of anyway.

In reality, the line will end up never being used in any school, so why should it be there at all? The cynic in me would suggest that it is simply there to “warn off” people of other faiths that might read into it in a particular way. For example, would an atheist who might not wish their child to buy into the faith formation in the school feel they are welcome reading that their beliefs are a threat to their ethos, (they are, in a way?) Would a child that might wear a different religion’s clothing feel uncomfortable in case it caused “offence” to the ethos?

If nothing else, it is interesting to see how language can be used.

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