Magazine article Times Educational Supplement

Opinion

Magazine article Times Educational Supplement

Opinion

Article excerpt

What keeps me awake at night - Job applications should not be a matter of faith.

I am about to begin a role at a state-funded faith primary school, having had a very successful start in teaching at an independent Catholic primary. And while I'm excited about my new position, I've arrived at it by a process of elimination as much as merit.

I applied to and visited many state-funded faith schools, the vast majority being Catholic, and they made no secret of their preference for practising Catholics. One headteacher went so far as to warn potential applicants that the first part of the selection process was to indicate that a priest could provide a reference - those without one would be rejected. I was unable to secure such a reference, because I do not attend Mass and have no intention of becoming a hypocrite.

I have thankfully been successful in finding a new job. However, I am troubled that my opportunities for employment are narrowed because I do not attend Mass. I cannot think of another public service where the issue of faith would be considered relevant or its consideration tolerated. How might doctors or nurses react if they were asked to secure faith references before they could practise medicine? …

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