St Thomas More School in Elizabeth Park, St Mary Magdalene’s School in Elizabeth Grove and Catherine McAuley School in Craigmore make up the Elizabeth Mercy Schools Cluster. Their leadership team worked closely with school boards, staff and Catholic Education SA (CESA) to develop the new fee structures.
The announcement has been welcomed by families, with one mother saying the lower fees would make a huge difference to her family.
“I don’t think you could get a bigger smile than the one on my face the day I found out about the new fees,’’ said Shylie Petherick of Elizabeth.
“It just makes the school more affordable for the everyday person and means I can provide things for my daughter I have not been able to in the past.’’
Ms Petherick’s daughter Abigail began at St Mary Magdalene’s School two and a half years ago, a move she says changed her daughter for the better.
“It was the best thing we ever did. Abi has thrived both socially and academically at St Mary Magdalene’s School. I just love the school for what it has done for her and how the teachers care for her.”
The decision is part of a broader effort by CESA to reduce the financial barriers to families wishing to choose a Catholic education for their child.
“We recognise that the north has taken a financial hit over the last few years with an economic downturn and uncertain employment prospects within the local area. We know many families are doing it tough and wanted to do our part to ensure all children can access a high quality Catholic education,” said Bruno Vieceli, assistant director, CESA.
“We undertook an extensive analysis of each school’s financial position and families’ capacity to pay school fees. Each school receives different levels of government funding based on the government’s assessment of the needs of that particular school community. The new fees reflect our commitment to make Catholic schools an accessible choice for families and mean the Elizabeth Mercy Schools Cluster now has some of the lowest non-government school fees in South Australia.’’