Higher proportion of Catholic School students come from deprived areas

The DfE [Department for Education] data, summarized in appendix 4 of the 2011 Digest, revealed that 19% of pupils at Catholic primary schools lived in the 10% most deprived areas, compared to 14% of pupils at primary schools across England. At secondary level, 17% of pupils at Catholic schools lived in the 10% most deprived areas against 12% of pupils nationally.

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2 Responses to “Higher proportion of Catholic School students come from deprived areas”

  1. Peter Says:

    It would be interesting to know why this is the case. I suspect it is linked to immigration (East European, Filipino, Portuguese, South American); residual Irish and traveller communities etc. the effect of large families etc. Of course it is Muslims who are far, far more likely to come from deprived areas – probably for similar reasons; tho’ of course the latter are far more likely to suffer prejudice and institutional discrimination.

    Yet it is interesting to note that religion is a factor in the prevalence of child poverty. Jews for example are far less likely to suffer child poverty (tho’ I suspect this is not a universal truth and that child poverty is more likely to be found in Orthodox or Hasidic communities because of the large family sizes and the fact that the most ‘devout’ way of life for an Orthodox Jewish man is to spend his days pawing over the Torah instead of working for a living).

    I doubt there is a simple answer such as ‘Catholics are less productive’ or ‘more less likely to get good jobs’. I suspect there are multifarious and inter-related reasons. Though anecdotal evidence from my social work days tells me Catholic families are far more likely to find their way into the child protection, mental health and youth justice system. Given the ‘a more wholesome society is achieved by religious belief practice’ rhetoric bleated in the blogging sphere, the pulpit and Christian media, more needs to be said about the fact the reverse seems to be the case (as the USA and Sub-Saharan African amply demonstrate). The secular, liberal democracies of Northern Europe have far more wholesome societies than ANY overtly religious/Christian society – I imagine the reason for this is because religion is a very good means of saying (and even believing) you’re doing one thing, while at the same time (often behind closed doors or in the recesses of one’s mind) doing the reverse. There is an Irish maxim: ‘Angel in the Street, Devil in the Home…’ to describe Irish men – but I think it is probably universally true for many adherents of religion….

    Just a thought….


  2. Simian Says:

    Or it could be that Catholicism has proven more attractive to those living in less affluent areas. On a global basis there is an ongoing trend for Catholicism to decline in more affluent parts of the World and to grow in less affluent parts.

    And some migrate from less to more affluent areas, bringing their faith and their lack of affluence with them – e.g. past migrations of Irish Catholics to the US.

    I think the point is that without specific evidence it is not possible to determine the cause.

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