Catholic schools offer fee relief to struggling families

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    It’s been a while since we’ve seen some good news. It feels like the world is out of control and life has been thrown upside down. Well the leaders of Catholic education across Australia want you to rest assured knowing no matter what happens next, a Catholic education will always be available for your children.

    National Catholic Education Executive Director Jacinta Collins, Catholic Schools NSW CEO Dallas McInerny, and Sydney Catholic Schools Executive Director Tony Farley have each expressed their commitment to ensuring that during and after this crisis, your child will continue to get the Catholic education you’ve chosen for them.

    “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.”

    “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.”

    Mr McInerny and the CSNSW team are encouraging parents who have lost their jobs to contact their school’s principal so that immediate action may be taken to help.

    Catholic Schools NSW (CSNSW) chief executive officer Dallas McInerney

    “Now, more than ever, our families need certainty and support,” Mr McInerney said. “Catholic Schools NSW is actively considering how best to financially support our families at this time.”

    “We are firmly of the view that no child should miss out on a Catholic education because of financial stress,” said Mr McInerny. “This includes families seeking enrolment for their children for the 2020 school year.”

    At the diocesan level, Tony Farley and Sydney Catholic Schools are also encouraging parents to seek help if they need it.

    “If your financial circumstances have changed please be assured that we will assist you to manage this unpredictable time,” said Tony Farley.

    “If you would like to have a confidential discussion with regard to fee relief, please contact your Principal or phone our School Fee Support Unit (02) 9568 8198.”

    For those with students at Sydney Catholic Schools, Mr Farley outlined the changes that SCS would be implementing to support families in the diocese:

    • Any family that is currently on direct debit payments and wishes to change these arrangements, please contact your school.
    • Any family that is currently paying by CentrePay please contact Centrelink to cease payments and advise your school that this has occurred.
    • For international and interstate excursions that have been cancelled, refunds will be issued.
    • For all other excursions and incursions that have been cancelled, the money will be credited to your account.
    • School-based activities that have been postponed will be reviewed throughout the year to assess whether further refunds or credits are applicable.
    Sydney Catholic Schools Executive Director Tony Farley

    All families across Australia struggling with the economic consequences of the COVID-19 crisis remain in the hearts and prayers of all those in Archdiocese of Sydney, and in Catholic Education.
    Should your family require support, we encourage you to contact one of the numbers above. If you are not in the Sydney Catholic Schools system, do not hesitate to contact your diocesan education department to make full use of the services and support on offer.