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Schools fight to keep up with demand

Some schools on the outer edges of Sydney are finding it impossible to keep up with the demand by Catholic families for places in their schools.

The Catholic Weekly reports that was the message delivered to the governing body for Sydney's 150 systemic Catholic schools on a tour of Sydney's southwest.

With the cost of housing cheaper in Sydney's west, many young families are moving out to areas such as Liverpool and Fairfield.

And with the population in those areas growing rapidly, Catholic schools are struggling to meet the demands of parents seeking a Catholic education for their kids.

In Liverpool and Fairfield, 37% of the population is Catholic - 10% higher than the national average. And 22% of kids in those areas go to Catholic schools.

"It's part of an on-going struggle and at the moment we can't accommodate all the kids in those areas who want to go to a Catholic school," says Br Kelvin Canavan, executive director of schools in the Sydney archdiocese. "It's a tremendous struggle for these communities and they need capital support from the government.

"There's tremendous excitement with new families moving into the area, so it's important for the Catholic Church to meet their requirements."

These sentiments are echoed by Michael Addicoat, principal of Freeman Catholic College, Bonnyrigg, who says there have been 298 applications from Catholic families for the 215 places on offer for the Year 7 intake for 2003.

"This means that we have to turn away 83 Catholic students, and hope to find them places in neighbouring Catholic schools," he says.

Catholic Education Office Sydney

Catholic Weekly

18 Jul 2002