Catholic schools across Australia will extend school fee relief for families facing financial hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Source: National Catholic Education Commission.
National Catholic Education Executive Director Jacinta Collins said Catholic schools have a long tradition of offering school fee relief and assistance to families facing financial difficulties.
“Catholic schools keep their fees as affordable as possible, but we know many families will be facing serious financial difficulties during this challenging time,” Ms Collins said.
“In each state and territory we are looking at ways to expand on the substantial fee relief arrangements already in place, to ease the financial strain on families, and to determine appropriate measures to best support the needs of families across the country.
“We saw recently through the bushfire season and ongoing drought, that some families are more affected than others, so we need to ensure that the right support and assistance goes to where it is most needed,” she said.
Ms Collins said financial relief is immediately available to families impacted by the pandemic.
“If families are affected by job losses, business closures or other impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, we urge them to speak to their school as quickly as possible, to get immediate relief and determine the level of assistance needed.”
“We appreciate how difficult it is for parents to come forward with financial concerns, but our schools will ensure each case is handled with care and discretion,” she said.
“We understand that many families are already under great pressure and strain, and we do not want them to be further burdened by school fee payments.”
Ms Collins said Catholic schools would offer a blend of onsite and remote learning arrangements next term.
“Subject to government advice, we anticipate that, by term two, Catholic schools will be offering a combination of onsite schooling for the children of essential service workers and remote learning for students at home.”
Nationally, Catholic schools educate more than 764,000 students – or one in five Australian students – in 1,746 schools, the vast majority of which are low-fee schools.
School fee relief for families (Bathurst Diocese)