Almost 500 scholarships have been offered to primary and secondary school-aged children and young people in care as part of an ongoing collaboration between Catholic Education South Australia and the Department for Child Protection. Source: The Southern Cross.
The Catholic Schools Scholarship Program allows students to attend Catholic schools fee-free, with recipients receiving full tuition, uniforms, textbooks, excursions and extracurricular activities each year until the child completes their schooling.
First established in 2020 with up to 100 scholarships on offer, the program has grown to see 463 scholarships awarded to date.
Catholic Education SA executive director Neil McGoran said the scholarship program has been overwhelmingly positive.
“Providing support for vulnerable people in our community is at the heart of the mission of Catholic Education,” Dr McGoran said.
“We know that a quality education can set a young person up for life.
“Our aim is to remove any financial barrier so that young people in care have the opportunity to be welcomed into Catholic schools and become the best version of themselves in a positive learning environment.”
Department for Child Protection caseworkers work with carers to identify children and young people who would benefit from the program, which is funded by Catholic Education SA.
One such carer is Michaeyla May, who has four children in her care.
The eldest, a seven-year-old girl, is at St Augustine’s, Salisbury, under the scholarship program.
“It’s an opportunity you can’t normally get, and it’s gone really well,” Ms May said.
“Everything is covered and she’s getting a really good education. Her teachers are trauma-informed and they care about her education and her wellbeing.”
Dan Cowan, principal of St Augustine’s in Salisbury, said the school works “in partnership with families and carers to ensure they feel respected, informed and engaged in the education of their children from the very beginning”.
Scholarships helping vulnerable children in SA (By Jenny Brinkworth, The Southern Cross)