Page 2, 29th March 1945

29th March 1945
Page 2
Page 2, 29th March 1945 — CATHOLIC SCHOOLS' POLICY
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People: P. O'Donnell
Locations: L.A.

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CATHOLIC SCHOOLS' POLICY

SIR,-A debt of gratitude is due to your Educational Correspondent for setting out the prospects of

Catholic schools in each of the three new groups: " aided," " assisted," or " private."

I hope our existing elementary, central and Hado‘v Schools will aim at hieing levelled upwards into full secondary schools, with a " modem " or " technical " bias, or both. We Catholics should be well adapted to treat thiS work on vocational lines. In suitable places we should readily include such pursuits as handicrafts, mechanical skill. (aiming and fishing in our pupils' education, Mane of the Butler reforms are CSSeDtial and long overdue. Our debate with the Government is over financial victimisation. in other respects we should Catholicise " Butler," take our religion as the basis of our work, and soon show the country what education should really be.

The best-known of our present secondary schools should aim, I believe, at becoming public day schools. With good communications, upwards of 750 pupils should be practicable. " Grammar," " modern " and " technical " education, or at least two of these branches of " Butler," should be taken, to give the school preper scope. Economics should be a necessary subject, as well us business methods and handicrafts. Catholics really first pioneered education in the crafts in

the medieval monasteries. It should be recalled, also, that the two great English day-schools, Westminster and St. Paul's, had a Catholic origin.

This country is once again at the Start of a new epoch in its history. The leadership in the field of education

should unmioakatsly be ours. Traditions can be built up more quickly nowadays. We must lift up the banner of Truth ever higher in this land.

Josus Mrscee, B.A., LL.B.

3, Inglewood Mansions, Hampstead, N.W.6.

SIR,---In the March 16 issue of THE CATHOLIC HERALD, your Educational Correspondent, when discussing the question whether Catholic schools would apply for " voluntary " status or not under the provisions of the Butler Education Act, says: " It was hoped by most of us that Catholic secondary schools would apply for inclusion under such a scheme. It seems, however, that most of them have not done so, and

do not intend to." •

The corollary is obvious: Catholic parents will Still be saddled-in a developing nand expanding educational budget-with school fees. This is the worst Gesture of all, considering, as YOU[ correspondent continues, " how sorely the Catholic parent is tried in the execution of his obligations."

May I, as a Catholic parent, ask: (I) On whose authority or advice did the Catholic secondary schools vote against " voluntary " status 7 Were the Catholic parents of the children attending these schools consulted in this important matter, and, if so, when, how and where ?

3. S. QUM SIR,-The proposals of your correspondent, Mr. P. O'Donnell. in the issue of March 2 are quite impracticable for many reasons, as well as being illusory. More than 50 per cent. of the Catholic children that he refers to are located in small :schools in towns scattered over wide areas, obviously it is very questionable if these schools could become " Aided" according to the Act, and administered by L.A.s, even if they clesited it.

Another point which Le brought to mind is that according to the proposals of the Butler Act in regard to plus 11 children, they are to be eorted out and graded into three classes for their further education, i.e., grammar, technical, and modern schools. Sorted out by

whom ? and with what authority 7 If a parent decides that he desires a certain type of education for his child, will the child be directed to some other type of training by one of the many " jacks-in-office " T I have heard non-Catholics express concern upon this matter, and if and when it happens the obvious remedy will be to remove your child from the State schools, and send it to a private or grant-aided school which [netts your wishes. Contrary to official expectations, and those of your correspondent, I consider that there will be an increasing number of pupils in private and grant-aided schools (of all denominations), and for various reasons I have heard non-Catholic parents expressing doubts about the wisdom of the Butler secondary schools scheme, and everyone agrees that the private or grantaided schools have something valuable and different to offer.

Your correspondent must not forget that many of the schools that he refers to have numbers of non-Catholics upon their registers.

There is a real need for greater loyalty and support to our Catholic schools by all Catholics, and the sterling work of our religious men and women in the educational field is not sufficiently recognised.

1.„. S. BALDWIN.

114, Farley Hill, Luton, Beds.

Sle,-The point raised in the letter quoted by " Jotter " in your current issue is pne requiring ventilation, and it ought to produce some explanations from the teaching orders concerned. The writer says, " Like many others I could not afford to send my children away from home to a Catholic boarding school so they go to the local secondary school."

For Catholics who do not live in proximity to a Catholic day school the choice is between a non-Catholic day school and a Catholic boarding school. Where the circumstances of the parents make boarding school fees prohibitive (prohibitive frequently because there are in most Catholic families a numbee of children to be educated) the Religious who manage these schools should by reduetion of es help those parents to make a right decision.

There are, oi course, a hundred and one instances of Religious teaching communities doing this, as many a grateful Catholic family will bear witness,

and for these we thank God ! But unfortunately there are others where the acceptance of a boy or girl still depends on the parents' ability to pay the full fees, where non-Catholics at full fees are given preference over Catholics who could be sent only if these were reduced.

A CATHOLIC PARE,NT.

IWe think the cases where Religious refuse children otherwise acceptable arid for whont there is room simPIY because full fees cannot be paid are very rare. Our feeling is that tire Catholic community should be grateful for the generosity and understanding In this matter of the vast majority of pChO04.—EDITOR, C.H.




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