Selective Catholic Schools

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Selective Catholic Schools were Roman Catholic secondary schools that existed in England until the beginning of the twenty-first century. The London Oratory School in Fulham was the last to select its intake, until 2006 interviewing pupil candidates and their parents; afterwards it continued to select a small portion of its intake based on musical aptitude.

These schools were extremely controversial, particularly during the 1980s and 1990s, and received many complaints about social selectivity and bias towards middle-class candidates and their parents. The John Fisher School in Purley, for example, had a more complex admissions procedure than many neighbouring private schools.

In 1999 the government banned pupil selection by interview and many of the ancillary processes these schools used to determine their intake. Some selective Catholic schools introduced a points admission system that effectively permitted them to select pupils, typically with candidates who are from "fully practising Catholic families" given priority, followed by other Catholics, then non-Catholics.[1]

Cardinal Vaughan Memorial School and The London Oratory School are known for selecting the sons of many politicians, including all of the sons of Tony Blair (Prime Minister from 1997 to 2007), and his daughter in the sixth form.


  1. ^ Cardinal Vaughan Memorial School admission policy 2015