We have two Catholic Primary Schools in the Parish: Bishop Parker School and St Thomas Aquinas School. Both schools form the Bletchley Catholic Schools Federation. The schools are served by the same Headteacher and Deputy Headteacher and there is one Governing Body for the Federation.
St Paul’s Catholic School in Leadenhall (just beyond our parish boundary) provides Catholic Secondary education for Catholic Children in Milton Keynes
Nursery: Bishop Parker School, see below.
Free Nursery Places
Important Information on Admissions to Catholic Primary Schools
Our schools are very popular, places are limited and schools are often over subscribed. In accord with national guidelines for Catholic Schools, the schools’ entrance criteria require the the Parish Priest to provide a reference known as a “Certificate of Catholic Practice” for applicant children. A reference is granted to a child if they regularly attend Mass on a Sunday or the Saturday evening Vigil Mass.
How are references allocated? The onus is on the parents to produce evidence of their child’s rate of Mass attendance. Such evidence is gathered in our Parish by way of a parish diary.
Parish diaries are available from the Parish Office. The diary is then brought each week to Sunday Mass or Saturday evening Vigil Mass. At the beginning and at the end of Mass, it is stamped by an appointed person which shows that the child attended Mass that week. Evidence of rate of Mass attendance is collated at the end of each calendar year prior to the year of admission. For example, if the child is to start at Catholic school in September 2021, he or she must have been using a diary from January to December in 2020. They hand in their diary in December 2020 in support of their application which is submitted in early 2021. Fr Christopher examines each diary and gives a reference if the diary contains sufficient stamps. Some children achieve one hundred per cent Mass attendance, but Fr Christopher will make allowances for holidays and illnesses.
Hence we ask that children who attend Mass in Bletchley and are applying for a place in a Catholic primary school, collect a diary and bring it to Mass (for the calendar year before their application is submitted) for stamping every time they attend. Please be aware that some children who need diaries will be very young; please do not make the mistake of thinking that your child is too young for a diary and that the day they are to start school seems too far off to worry about using a diary. If in doubt, please ask, for ignorance of the scheme cannot be used as an excuse.
The system is well publicized at Mass by way of verbal announcements and by inclusions in the parish newsletter. We have used this system for some years now; it is deemed to be a fair system and has been upheld at appeal.
If you have recently moved to the Parish from another Parish and need to join the diary system for a year that has already started then please provide a letter from your previous Parish Priest to state your child has attended Mass regularly there. We will then take this into account in calculating the rate of Mass attendance required for a Certificate of Catholic Practice.
Full details of each School’s Admission Criteria can be viewed on their respective Websites. Please remember when applying for a place in our Parish Schools to obtain and complete the Supplementary form in addition to the ones required by the Local Authority. If you have any queries regarding School Admissions please contact the School(s) directly. If you have any enquirers regarding how to obtain a Certificate of Catholic Practice i.e a reference from Fr Christopher please contact the Parish Office on 01908 372315 during Office hours.
Parish Diaries are only available from the parish office.