Catholic schools are typically regarded as great value for money, providing high-quality education supported by great facilities and learning environments. It is the policy of the Catholic Schools Office that financial hardship should not prevent any child from attending a Catholic school and no child will be denied a Catholic education because of a family’s genuine inability to pay the required school fees. Any family experiencing financial difficulties is entitled to fee assistance and the Catholic school system can provide a low-fee option. You can discuss this with the college principal.
Together with parents, clergy and school staff, Catherine McAuley is committed to offering children in the Port Stephens area access to a school in which their faith can be nurtured in outstanding learning environments. We seek to assist young people realise their full potential, taking into account their unique spiritual, intellectual, physical and social needs.
The greater part of diocesan schools’ funding comes from Commonwealth and State government grants, but the commitment and continuing financial contribution of parents and parish communities is essential to fill the gap between the government funds and the actual cost of running our schools. School fees comprise three components – diocesan tuition fees, individual school resource and service fees, and the Diocesan Family School Building Levy (DFSBL).
1. Diocesan tuition fees 2020
The 2020 full rate diocesan tuition fees are as follows:
- Years 7 to 10 – $1,740 per year
- Year 11 to 12 – $2,640 per year
In 2020, the family discount on diocesan tuition fees full rate, will be:
- 1 child family – 0% – full rate to be applied
- 2 child family – 10% – each child
- 3 child family – 20% – each child
- 4 child family – 40% – each child
- 5+ child family – 50% – each child
School fees are an integral part of our Catholic school system and parents are required to sign a fee agreement commitment form on enrolment. Fee arrangements may be considered in extenuating circumstances and in consultation with the principal. The annual fees are levied over three accounts (Terms 1, 2 and 3).
2. School resource and service fees
There is a resource fee for secondary students and a similar fee for primary students. This fee covers resources students used in accessing their education, including the costs of stationery as well as specialist materials needed for particular KLA areas. Resource costs are set by the principal in consultation with staff, parents, parish priests and the CSO. Excursions and incursions are also an additional expense and must be paid before the date of the event.
3. Diocesan Family School Building Levy (DFSBL)
The DFSBL is charged to the oldest child for each family. The levy is pooled to contribute towards past, present and future costs for building projects across all existing and new Catholic schools, and the acquisition of land for school purposes.
The DFSBL contribution from families is spent on major refurbishment and capital works in existing schools including classroom replacement, toilet facilities, specialist rooms and playground areas. In new schools, the DFSBL provides all capital works including an administration block, general purpose learning areas, chapel, specialist rooms, toilet facilities and non-teaching spaces including playgrounds and oval spaces.
The DFSBL in 2020 will be $1,250 per family. The contribution is reviewed, recommended and approved in the same fashion as the tuition fees and discounts as mentioned earlier.
Diocesan Pastoral Contribution
A voluntary contribution of $300 per family ($100 per term for three terms) is being sought as a diocesan pastoral contribution.
These funds support the ongoing pastoral works of the Diocese that include, among many initiatives, the diocesan pastoral ministries office and the activities of its many advisory councils. It helps provide chaplains to minister at Newcastle University, Newcastle port, in prisons and hospitals and for CatholicCare Social Services. The contribution supports the family community faith co-ordinators who work to reach out to and connect families with their local parish and school, and pastoral co-ordinators who work in parishes without a resident parish priest.
We value the opportunity to work in partnership with you and thank you for your continuing support of Catholic education in our Diocese.
A non-refundable enrolment fee of $110 is to be paid when confirming acceptance of an enrolment offer at Catherine McAuley. The enrolment fee covers all administrative work involved in processing the application.
Special Fee Reductions
To assist families with limited financial resources, Catherine McAuley offers a lower tuition fee to means-tested low-income families, such as Health Care Card and Pension Card holders. This rate is 50 per cent of the diocesan tuition fee full rate for each child. This discount applies only to the diocesan tuition fee, not to the DFSBL or other resource and service fees charged by each individual school.
A genuine inability to meet school account charges does not exclude access to any school within the Diocese for a child of a family genuinely committed to Catholic faith and practice. Parents concerned about school fees should ensure they make contact with the school. Diocesan provisions exist to help in this area and the principal can also exercise discretion where genuine need exists.