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Catholic education reveals bold plan for SA


The Catholic education sector has sent a strong message to the State’s two major political parties about the need for a greater investment in Catholic schools as it embarks on a bold expansion plan.

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With just over a month before the State election, leaders of the Government and the Opposition, and their education spokespersons, took part in the launch of a five-year strategic plan by the South Australian Commission for Catholic Schools (SACCS).

Called Towards 2027: Expanding Horizons and Deepening Practices – Strategy for Catholic Education South Australia, the plan anticipates student numbers will climb from 48,000 to 54,000 by the start of the 2027 school year, a two per cent per annum increase.

The strategy includes plans to expand a number of existing schools and develop several new campuses.

Three new schools are proposed for the north and south of Adelaide as well as a third special school facility (in addition to Our Lady of La Vang and St Patrick’s Schools).

Campus expansions include:

The Towards 2027 strategy also includes plans to open another two early learning centres and offer additional preschool places.

“We expect 2022 to 2027 to be years of significant growth and expansion for Catholic Education SA,” said SACCS chair Professor Denis Ralph.

“From humble beginnings in 1844 in a small chapel on Pirie Street, Catholic Education now has schools, colleges and centres spread across the length and breadth of South Australia with 103 schools and colleges located on 118 campuses with nearly 9,000 staff.”

Dr Neil McGoran, director of Catholic Education South Australia, said Catholic schools would continue to be inclusive and accessible to all children and families in ways that reflect our Catholic identity and culture.

“By 2027, we expect that 200 Catholic school teachers, 5 per cent of our total teacher workforce, will have achieved AITSL certification as Highly Accomplished or Lead Teachers, the highest proportion in Australia,” he said.

“We are also committed to strengthening NAPLAN results and SACE achievements across all Catholic schools, and ensuring that our students continue to thrive in an environment that brings out their very best.”

The announcement comes as two new schools – Compass Catholic Community at Davoren Park and St Francis of Assisi College at Renmark – welcomed their first cohort of students at the commencement of Term 1. Four regional schools at Wallaroo, Peterborough, Clare and Murray Bridge also expanded to offer Year 8 this year and will offer Year 9 from 2023.

Livestreamed due to COVID restrictions, the launch was hosted by former television reporter Jessica Adamson and included videos featuring students from Catholic schools.

After hearing from the Premier Steven Marshall, Education Minister John Gardiner, Opposition Leader Peter Malinauskas and Shadow Education Minister Blair Boyer, Professor Ralph said the sector would “not be relaxed to hear vague promises”.


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