The shortfall between the basic costs of running a school and the amount funded by governments means a reasonable fee structure is essential for Catholic schools to operate and provide the high quality of education that Catholic Education is known for and parents rightly expect.
School fees also comprise levies, which vary from school to school, and may include items such as a Building Levy, Subject Levies and General Purpose Levy.
Schools strive to keep fees as low as possible, in fact some parents are surprised at how affordable they are in comparison to independent/private schools, Catholic schools in southern capitals, and even kindy and day care fees.
Family discounts apply for families with more than one child attending Catholic schools in the Diocese of Cairns. Some of the Diocese’s primary schools and secondary colleges attract a further discount because of their rural location and/or having limited access to a Catholic secondary college.
In addition to these family and country school discounts that have historically been offered, Cairns Catholic Education offers a means-tested concession card discount. Parents/carers with a means-tested Australian government health care or pensioner concession card may be eligible to receive
a 70% discount to tuition fees (does not apply to school levies).
Card holders are required to advise the school of their concession card at enrolment or when the card is gained. Once the card is sighted by the school’s administration, tuition fees for future terms only will be adjusted. This scheme is intended to assist those families who genuinely do not have the financial capacity to pay tuition fees in full.
In keeping with Gospel values, no child will be refused a Catholic education due to genuine financial difficulty which has been verified by the school. New or existing parents who find themselves in this situation and who do not hold a concession card, are encouraged to discuss fee concessions directly with their school principal or parish priest to apply for special consideration. This request will be treated with understanding, sensitivity and confidentiality.
It is the experience of our schools that families who are struggling financially are faithful in paying a contribution to their local school to whatever extent they can afford. It is the expectation that families with the capacity to contribute do so, so that as near to possible to full realisation of this income source can be achieved.
Tuition fees for primary schools in the Cairns Diocese in 2017 will be at 2016 levels and secondary college fees will rise by 2.5% – a much smaller increase than in previous years.