Although Catholic schools charge fees (they have no choice) they still cater for the poor. Catholic schools go out of their way to accommodate families who may be struggling and concessions are provided. It is important that families who want to access Catholic education for their children are not excluded because they do not have the means to pay fees. It is our expressed policy to assist any family in this situation. Families who will experience personal financial hardship in meeting school fees should contact the Principal. Genuine concerns and the request for fee concessions will be dealt with sympathetically and confidentially. Extension of the payment period, or full or partial exemption may be granted, on an annual basis. For partial exemption, the Principal and parents concerned will come to an agreement upon the amount, based on consideration of the family’s needs as being the priority in a child’s life. Where total exemption is requested, payment in kind may be possible.
However, Catholic schools are no longer charities. If they relied totally on donations from the public there would be no Catholic schools. Unfortunately, there are families who have the capacity to pay or at least make a contribution to school fees that hide behind the gospel value of not denying a Catholic education to those experiencing genuine financial hardship. Those who are not paying full fees, for valid or fanciful reasons, are effectively being subsidised by others. Refusal to pay, where deliberate and without due consultation with the school, will be actioned in accordance with Diocesan procedures for fee recovery.
The cost of a Catholic primary school or high school education in the Cairns Diocese is far more affordable than some believe, especially in comparison to the cost of independent schools, southern schools, and kindergarten and childcare costs. Good Counsel Primary School fees are about $40 per week. Discounts apply for siblings at Good Counsel College and scholarship opportunities are available (enquiries are welcome).
Tuition fees are fixed by Catholic Education Services (CES) and are reviewed annually.
School levies are charged in addition to Tuition Fees and are as follows:
|Description||Annual Fee||Family/Student||Charged – Term/Annual|
|Capital Levy||$160||Family||Term – 4 x $40|
|Resource Levy||$260||Student||Term – 4 x $65|
|P&F Levy||$100||Family||Term – 4 x $25|
|Activity Levy||$40||Student||Term – 4 x $10|
Accounts are sent out each term. Fees can be paid on a weekly/fortnightly/monthly or term basis. Payment should be made at the school office. Please return the accounts with payment in order to ensure the correct account is receipted. School fees are due three weeks after the date of issue.
Payment options are available. Facilities are available for payment to be taken from a wage or bank account, or transfers can be made via internet banking. Please contact school administration for further details.
Government funding for Catholic schools is a contentious issue, due mainly to the misconception that all non-government schools are elite private schools. In the early days, Catholic schools received little or no funding from government and catered for the poorest families in society, funded mainly by donations and good will. These days, Catholic schools receive approximately eighty per cent of the funding that is given to state school students. School fees are charged to pay salaries, administration costs and to build and maintain schools. Some may argue that Catholic schools should not receive anything, but the fact is that Catholic schools educate a huge number of students. Without them, the government simply would not be able to cope with the extra numbers. Catholic school parents pay as much tax as State School parents and are entitled to parity in education funding. The Catholic contribution to education in Australia is quite substantial.