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St Francis de Sales College Mt Barker students Mateus, Ivy and Lucas at the new Strathalbyn school site (CESA/Russell Millard)

Catholic Education South Australia will establish a new $30 million school to meet growing demand in the town of Strathalbyn and the surrounding area. Source: The Advertiser.

The new primary school will be a campus of St Francis de Sales College, Mount Barker, and will cater for students in Reception to Year 6 with the possibility of future expansion to Year 9 depending on demand.

Plans for the first stage of the eight-hectare campus, subject to council approval, include contemporary learning spaces, sports facilities and an oval.

St Francis de Sales College principal Andrew Baker said he was “confident that local families will welcome the opportunity”.

“We have been experiencing strong enrolment growth at our Mount Barker college for some time,” Mr Baker said.

It comes as the Mount Barker campus of St Francis de Sales College has grown from about 700 students in 2020 to more than 1000 expected to enrol in 2025.

Currently, there are two buses transferring students to the Mount Barker campus from Strathalbyn each day.

Mr Baker said it was “too early” in planning to reveal the capacity and staffing requirements of the proposed school.

The new primary school would be a guaranteed pathway to the high school campus at Mount Barker.

Catholic Education SA executive director Dr Neil McGoran said the new school will be “building an even stronger focus on student learning and quality teaching in the Adelaide Hills”.

“This new school will enable us to work in partnership with families from Strathalbyn and the surrounding areas to provide children with an excellent Catholic education,” Dr McGoran said.

It will be built in partnership with South Australia’s largest home builder, Hickinbotham Group, as Strathalbyn’s population is forecast to grow by approximately 1800 people over the next seven to 10 years.


New $30m Catholic school set to be built at Strathalbyn (By Shashi Baltutis, The Advertiser)


CESA invests in Strathalbyn (The Southern Cross)