Catholic education within reach of all Tasmanian families

Decrease font size
Increase font size
Print this page
Email to friend
Share to Facebook
Share to Twitter
Catholic education within reach of all Tasmanian families

A new Schools Fees Assistance Policy ratified by the Tasmanian Catholic Education Commission ensures a Catholic education is within reach of all Tasmanian families.

The policy comes into effect on 1 January 2018, and formalises existing options for fee assistance available to parents who may be experiencing financial hardship.

“Catholic Education Tasmania had mechanisms in place for some time for assisting those families whose children are eligible for enrolment in Catholic schools but who are unable to meet the fee requirements because of financial hardship,” said Director of Catholic Education Tasmania, John Mula.

“This policy formalises the options for fee assistance, and provides guidelines so support is given to those families with genuine financial hardship while allowing these parents or guardians to maintain their dignity.”

School Fee Remissions is one option covered by the policy, and available to parents and guardians experiencing genuine financial hardship. It is an arrangement whereby a parent is not required to pay the full amount of fees. This is available to families who would otherwise be unable to afford to send their children to a Catholic school.

Family discounts is an option available to all families with three or more children in a Catholic School or college. A family is eligible for family discounts regardless of whether all children attend the one Tasmanian Catholic school or different Tasmanian Catholic schools.

Mr Mula said the policy encouraged each Catholic school principal to offer support to families that may require financial assistance.

“The policy outlines a pastoral response in support of families that may require financial assistance to meet the obligation of Catholic school fees.

“It is grounded in Catholic social teaching and tradition which speaks of a ‘preferential option for the poor’, and was written in accordance with the Archbishop’s Charter for Catholic Schools (2016), which states ‘…that no family is precluded from enrolment on the basis of financial capacity’”.

Mr Mula said that despite the current funding inequity between government and Catholic education sectors this should not be a barrier to parents pursuing a Catholic education for their children.

“With Catholic schools only receiving about 80 per cent of the funding per student received by students in government schools, Catholic school parents (who are also tax payers), make up the shortfall in government funding through the payment of school fees.

“While fees charged in Tasmanian Catholic schools and colleges are quite modest, financial assistance is a tangible way for the Catholic education sector to provide opportunities for the financially less fortunate families within the community to enrol their child at a Catholic school.”

Mr Mula said while some Catholic schools and colleges in Sydney and Melbourne were predicting significant fee increases, fee increases at Tasmanian Catholic schools will be kept to a minimum keeping pace with the Consumer Price Index (CPI).

“Fee increases in Tasmanian Catholic primary schools will be less than 2.5% in 2018. Catholic colleges are being encouraged to follow the same trend; that is, to keep fee increases linked to CPI.”

Families who feel they could benefit from financial support with school fees are encouraged to contact their school or college to discuss options with the principal.