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Concern - CEIST new principal



  • Christmas is an appropriation of the pagan winter solstice festival. Many of the hallmarks of Christmas, the ones you listed in your post, are pagan traditions, not Christmas. You don't get to steal Christmas.

    There are a tiny number of Educate Together schools, and they are heavily over subscribed - so it's not an option for many athiests or people of other religions.

    One good reason to change the system is very simply that it doesn't work for a substantial number of students and their families. Why would you deliberably design school events that exclude a significant bunch of students and their parents.

    Those christians who are keen on the nativity play or other religious traditions are welcome to run church events to mark these. Schools are publicly funded institutions. Why should the beliefs of some people be imposed on all?

  • Ironically there are lot of hospitals that people are excluded perhaps because they are private and expensive, or perhaps they don't have the specialists that you need. It would make no sense to move beside a hospital that was completely unsuitable for you. Say you wanted public and orthopedic and you moved beside a expensive private maternity hospital. Then insisted they treat you.

    One of the previous threads like this (again CEIST) was for a convent school. When there where other schools nearby. Though that one like this one was interesting to hear the teachers experiences.

    I remember when religion was much more involved in hospitals and schools. I don't think I've never seen an actual mandatory prayer service before a surgery. That's an interesting idea.

  • [Quote] Those christians who are keen on the nativity play or other religious traditions are welcome to run church events to mark these. Schools are publicly funded institutions. Why should the beliefs of some people be imposed on all?[/quote]

    I guess you could poll the parents and see of they want it.

  • "....Those christians who are keen on the nativity play or other religious traditions are welcome to run church events to mark these. Schools are publicly funded institutions. Why should the beliefs of some people be imposed on all?..."

    I guess you could poll the parents and see how many want it.

  • So would you be OK with the needs

    of 45% of the school community being ignored?

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  • "...So would you be OK with the needs of 45% of the school community being ignored?..."

    I think the 45% will have vastly more influence then me.

  • Are you suggesting that "majority wins" polling is the best way to build an inclusive school activity programme?

  • Having read the OP but not the thread....

    OP you’ve signed up to a CEIST school when enrolling, so I think it’s only fair that you expect that ethos from them....

    If the school is great as you claim it to be, I’m sure it will continue that way. If you’re child is happy isn’t that all that matters??

    I’m an atheist (so there is no bias) I teach in what others would perceive as a strict/staunch Catholic school. Those who are religious stand for morning prayers, those who aren’t, don’t. Our day is spent teaching English, Maths and Irish and trying to grapple with covid. Yes there is communion and confirmation but our days are not consumed with the indoctrination of religion. (This is across the board not just in my class).

    It’s a very much an opt in opt out menu, which is what a lot of schools are like in reality in my personal experience. So regardless of the ‘tick box’ criteria on paper I’m sure any principal would have a lot more on their mind these days than religion. But even if they did, can you blame them if you signed up for that ethos?

  • "...Are you suggesting that "majority wins" polling is the best way to build an inclusive school activity programme?..."

    The prevalent day-to-day decision making of democracies IS the majority rule. Its was by democratic process that Equal Status Act 2000 came into being. So I could ask you, do you disagree with the democratic process.

    Similarly do you disagree with the Equal Status Act 2000. In addition I could ask do you think that no ethos should be allowed in schools. The Educate Togethers have a specific ethos for example. If you allow one you allow all. If you remove one you remove all. Should private schools be allowed to set their own Ethos differently to public schools. Or any school thats primarily funded by public money. Should they not be all the same? Who decides and by what process.

  • Honestly, if you don't seem the problem with prayers, communions and confirmations within the tight school schedule, I don't know what to tell ya. Doing the prayers in class sets the expectation that doing prayers is normal, and it's just those odd, strange people (especially the ones with different colour skin) that do things differently. How many of the families of the praying students do prayers at home, do you reckon? How many are bothered to get up of their arses on a Sunday morning and go to mass? The data would suggest that it is a small minority who are motivated enough to go to any effort themselves.

    Put the sacraments on as an after school activity, with a small charge to recover costs, and see how many are queueing up to take part?

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  • "...Put the sacraments on as an after school activity, with a small charge to recover costs, and see how many are queueing up to take part?...."

    I'm curious what sort of a "small" charge would you think would be a deterrent.

  • I am the opposite I teach in a Ceist school and love it and was advocating for a CEIST school in my area as a new school was being built, unfortunately the local ETB got it. I would have loved to see a CEIST school there as there is none within 20 miles even a mixed CEIST school could be nice dynamic, I dont see many of these. But we will be sending our daughter to a CEIST school probably all girls.

  • I just like the ethos of a prayer each day and words of thoughtfulness during this time. I love how the students are so eager to be part of different Masses and services during the year, we have a Mass in September, November for all souls, Christmas, Ash Wednesday, and end of year Mass as well as graduation Mass. The students always buy into these really well, you know those that attend the school are not strangers to this. I dont know I think it leads to a lovely caring environment in the school. I think respect is probably the biggest value I see daily among students and teacher towards students and students to teachers. I know you always have the odd argument but I think the CEIST model is working very well. I did my placement in another CEIST school and found the same atmosphere. I think as teacher we can all tell very quickly the atmosphere in a school.

  • For sure, I've taught in a variety of schools, 2 would have been CEIST, one fabulous, one awful. I also went to one and would rank it as one of the best schools anyone could be lucky enough to attend. I think sometimes it's down to that kind of intangible "ethos" that some places and people seem to imbue easily. I have to say I'd be wary about saying any particular ethos or patronage is superior, I usually have found that the management and historical management of a school have the biggest effect, religious or otherwise. A principal, good bad or indifferent will generally have a the biggest effect on most teachers professional lives. There are subtle, historic differences between the orders too.

    You are obviously religious so I can see why there would be a draw to that type ethos and want it for your kids!

    It's always interesting to hear people's perspective on these things!

  • How did the Mass culture work out for the students of other religions and students of no religion?

  • As far as I know they have to attend if there present in the school, if the are of no religion theres a community school in the town too that they would probably be encouraged to attend instead. That would be discussed at the open night, you would be made well aware of responsibilities and what is expected.

  • Do you reckon that expecting some students to attend religious ceremonies that are at best meaningless for them and at worst contradicting their own personal values is a good idea?

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  • I think you try to have vast majority buy into CEIST ethos and be aware of it before the attend that school thats all you can do.

  • I’ve seen interview panels for primary schools where the chair of Bom is the Patrons appointment to the bom and there is also an assessor. In both cases neither had any interview or educational experience.

  • I haven't come across the chair of the BOM being the patron's representative on the board of management.

    How did the assessor not have any interview or educational experience?

    In my diocese here assessors have to undergo training and they are all either retired or acting principals.

  • It's not really 'all you can do' though, is it? You could do an awful lot more to create an inclusive school environment, but you won't.

  • Inclusive within the bounds of Catholic teaching, theres lots of scope for that. Passages from the Scripture can be put up on school twitter or instagram page that might be inspirational or inclusive of all talents and ability, rich and poor alike. These are sometimes read on intercom too during morning prayer. A well know girls school in Palmerstown area does this a lot on social media and its a lovely touch. I know that I take particular care with being respectful and showing full attention to morning prayers and service with 1st years in the first few weeks just to make sure they know how important it is in the school, but again I have rarely to chastise any girls for this they all seem to be used to this and expect it and generally buy into it really well. Like theres nothing Bible bashing or anything going on just common sense mindfullness and spirituality so its all very positive really.

  • It's all very positive for Catholics. It's not all very positive for others, but you already knew that well - and are determined to ignore what inclusivity actually means.

  • That's not across the board. I was once interviewed by a panel with one principal and no one else had any educational experience. I was asked about catechisms? I teach STEM subjects. I was also asked how I would bring the bible into my teaching.......not faith or respect or spirituality.....the bible. Im not even a decade teaching so it gives you a view on the craic going on. Again it's not all religious schools, sometimes you'd hardly know in the interview and they clearly practice a very enlightened form of catholicism that allows for other experiences but it's about half based on my own and friends experience.

  • Wow it obviously varies hugely from diocese to diocese or perhaps from primary level to second level. I know our panel of assessors are definitely acting or former principals so plenty of experience there usually.

    I notice you mention that you teach STEM subjects, I assume you are teaching at secondary level? My experience is at primary level, maybe someone else can explain how assessors are appointed at second level.

  • I wouldn't be that familiar with the running of CEIST school interview panels, I'm sure someone on here could, I've only taught in that type of school during my dip and for two years before I moved to ET and ETB schools fully. For me personally it was about the ethos too, I'm in a same sex relationship and was told in no uncertain terms that would not be looked upon kindly in the context of promotion etc. From my own experience in Dublin there are a disproportionate number of LGBT teachers in ETBs and ETs as a result and because the choice is available. I can't imagine it's easy down the country.

    With regards to interview panels I'd also be of the opinion it would be very much down to the principal for a huge amount in post primary anyway. Issues like this in the WPC certainly validate my choice in turning down a permanent job for subbing at the start of my career.

    I still do believe it's down to the local management though in a lot of cases, but I'm open to correction. I know the school I went to is brilliant, and the nuns there were really excellent people who approached religion as a balm for the bad in the world and to build a personal morality, but I suppose the question is whether a state entitity with state funding should be allowed to include that level of religiousity in interview evt. It's not an easy one to untangle

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  • I went to a community school which I found a great personally. We were aware that other religions were recognised as were none. Religion class had a multi denominational approach I guess with classes on ethical issues also. I have taught in both ETB and Ceist schools. It really depends on the management. One ceist school I taught in was very Catholic. They had a nun on staff, a lovely lady and there were loads of masses, prayers, candles, Pure of Heart etc. and no mention of other faiths. Plus all kids had to sit in the church for mass and there were confessions too. It was single sex. Another Ceist school was completely different, one mass a year for all kids, mass for Leaving Cert graduation, a quick prayer in the morning over the intercom but very open and inclusive. A teacher provided to supervise kids who didn’t attend the one mass a year. LGBT staff and workshops provided to kids on LGBT anti-bullying stuff. Mixed school. Focus more on activities - music, drama, sport etc. At interview when asked about ethos I focused on compassion.

    In my honest opinion my prefered schools was

    the community school I attended, ETB and the mixed CEIST school. All were inclusive but none pretended religion and different religions did not exist. They were all mixed and kids were not overprotected from the real world i.e. Ethical issues were discussed openly and no one ‘right answer’ was given. Class time was not given to religious ceremonies except for one mass a year for the mixed Ceist school and one ETB actually. Any community/charity event was undertaken as a school community open to all.

    Personally I found the all girls CEIST school too much. There were religious ceremonies for everything that impacted on teaching time. Begining of Year, Christmas, St Bridget, St Blaise, confessions for all students, St. patrick, Easter, End of Year. No regard was given to students of other faiths or none as they all had to attend. The Pure of Heart group came to give abstinance workshops. The candles were nice though. Any charity work was done under a religious label. Certain topics were not for open discussion if they were contensious.

    It depends on the management for sure and in CEIST schools, the openess of the religion department in my opinion