HEAD START IN CATHOLIC EDUCATION; Study Shows Improved Chances
Mulford, Sarah, Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
WORKING-CLASS children from Catholic schools are more likely to go to college, says a new study.
It's claimed 65 per cent of pupils at Catholic schools in "disadvantaged" areas opt for further education after getting three or more Highers.
The figure from comparable non-RC schools was 56 per cent.
The man behind the study, Edinburgh University Professor Lindsay Paterson, claims Catholic schools are "consistently more effective in enabling working-class pupils to gain good qualifications".
But he also found Catholic schoolkids who don't do well in exams are less likely to find work than their counterparts from non-RC education.
The Catholic Church welcomed his findings. But the report is unlikely to silence those who claim that separate schooling helps maintain sectarian divisions in Scotland.
In a study carried out before the last Scottish elections, 45 per cent of Catholics said separate schools should be phased out. Fifty-two per cent wanted them to remain.
Professor Paterson said 21 per cent of working-class pupils in Catholic schools left with three Highers or more.
The figure for comparable pupils in non-RC schools was 19 per cent.
He argues that Catholic schools help their pupils cross social barriers, saying: "In a classic instance of education fostering social mobility, these formerly working-class young people have been able to use their credentials to compete successfully for good jobs."
But while cleverer pupils at Catholic schools allegedly do better, youngsters at the other end of the academic scale still struggle to find jobs after leaving.
Only 71 per cent of unqualified Catholic school leavers find work, compared with 81 per cent of those from non-denominational education. …