Catholic schools are typically seen as great value for money. Catholic schools do more with less whilst still providing high-quality education supported by quality facilities and learning environments. Each school year the Catholic Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle, through its agency the Catholic Schools Office, reviews the fees for students in our diocesan schools for the coming year.
By far the greater part of our schools’ funding now comes from State and Commonwealth government grants, but the commitment and continuing financial contribution of parents and parish communities is still essential to fill the gap between the funds provided by government and the actual cost of running our schools.
The school fees constitute three components:
- Diocesan Tuition Fees
- Individual School Resource and Service Fees
- Diocesan Family School Building Levy (DFSBL)
Diocesan Tuition Fees
These are set each year by the Bishop. In 2021, the full rate diocesan tuition fees are:
. Kinder to Year 6
. Years 7 to 10
. Years 11 to 12
In 2021, the family discount on full rate diocesan tuition fees are:
- 1 child family 0% - full rate to be applied
- 2 child family 15% - each child
- 3 child family 25% - each child
- 4+ child family 50% - each child
Individual School Resource and Service Fees
These are fees set by individual schools and can cover a range of costs including the supply of resources such as texts, school supplies, exercise books, subject levies, technology, excursion costs etc. The cost and nature of the fees can vary between schools and they will be set out in the Parent Handbook provided by the school and itemised in the school fee account from the school.
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 schools, and for the development of new Catholic schools within the Diocese.
This 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 levy provides all capital works including administration block, general purpose learning areas, chapel, specialist rooms, toilet facilities, and non-teaching spaces including playground and oval spaces.
The Catholic Schools Office is committed to a robust building and development program across the school system that will truly enhance the physical facilities for students.
The DFSBL rate for 2021 is $1,344 per family. The DFSBL rate is reviewed, recommended and approved in the same manner as mentioned earlier for tuition fees and discounts.
Diocesan Pastoral Contribution
The Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle consists of parishes, schools, CatholicCare Social Services, St Nicholas Early Education and the Curia offices. The Diocesan offices exist to support the work of Parishes and other pastoral ministries that are the responsibility of the Bishop and the diocesan community. There are approximately 160,000 Catholics residing in our diocese.
The voluntary diocesan pastoral contribution for 2021 is $300 per family ($100 per term for 3 terms). These funds will support the ongoing pastoral works of the diocese which include, amongst many initiatives:
- The diocesan pastoral ministries office and the activities of its many advisory councils - the Diocesan Pastoral Council, the Adult Faith Formation Council, the Liturgy Council, the Ecumenical and Interfaith Council, the Social Justice Council and the Diocesan Council of Ministry with Young People
- The provision of chaplains ministering in the following areas – Newcastle University, Newcastle Port, Prisons, Hospitals and CatholicCare Social Services
- Family Community Faith Coordinators who work to reach out to and connect families with their local parish and school
- Pastoral Coordinators who work in those parishes without a resident Parish Priest.
This fee is payable upon confirmation of enrolment. This fee is generally non-refundable and is payable before the student commences school. The enrolment fee covers all administrative work involved in processing the application.
Special Fee Reductions
To assist families with limited financial resources, Catholic schools in the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle offer a lower tuition fee to ‘means tested’ low income families such as Health Care and Pension Card holders. This rate is 50% 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.
Please note, however, that it is our policy that financial hardship should not prevent a 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. This does not apply only to the eligible Health Care/Pension Card holders mentioned above. Any family experiencing financial difficulties is entitled to fee assistance. The Principal of the school can be contacted to discuss such situations.
Together with parents, clergy and school staff, we are committed to offering the children and young people in this diocese, schools in which their faith can be nurtured in outstanding learning environments. We seek to assist young people to realise their full human potential, spiritual, intellectual, physical and social. We value the opportunity to work in partnership with you to that end, and thank you for your continuing support of Catholic Education in this Diocese.
Various options are available for payment of fees. These include periodic payments, BPAY, direct debit and credit card. Parents wishing to pay by periodic instalments are requested to nominate their payment method on the 1st account sent home at the beginning of the year. All fees must be paid in full by the commencement of Term 4.
School fees are billed over the first three terms of the school year. However, you may prefer to pay yearly. Other schedules of payment can be negotiated with the school principal or school finance officer.