Jump in number of non-Catholics at SA Cath schools

SA leads trend

South Australia’s Catholic schools have more non-Catholics than those in any mainland state. But education leaders say there is no risk of an identity crisis, reports news.com.au. 

At 44 per cent, SA Catholic schools have the highest proportion of students from non-Catholic backgrounds of any mainland state. The national average is 29 per cent, with some states, such as New South Wales, recording rates as low as 24 per cent.

The growth in numbers of non-Catholic students looms as a potential identity crisis for Catholic schools. But South Australia’s head of Catholic Education says local schools are already comfortable delivering Catholic values and beliefs to classrooms of mixed backgrounds.

The growth of non-Catholic enrollments in these states has led NSW bishops to previously say that Catholic system schools are at 'a crossroads' and they have called on education leaders to 'reaffirm the Catholic identity of our schools.'

But in SA, the proportion of people who consider themselves Catholic has historically been lower than in eastern states. SA schools have therefore been managing rates of diversity much higher than those other states are now seeing.

Catholic Education director Paul Sharkey believes there is no identity crisis in SA. 'Whilst many students come from families with a strong background in the Catholic faith, many do not,' he said.

FULL STORY Big growth in number of non-Catholics attending Catholic schools in SA (news.com.au)

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