Catholic News - Catholic Telecommunications, a devision of Catholic Resources





Tasmanian plan to educate poorer children

Hobart's Catholic Education Office is considering an education fund to help low-income patents give their children a Catholic education.

A year-long review of the state's 37 Catholic schools has called for some shifts in direction, said Director of Catholic Education, Dan White (pictured). Among them, plans had been made to tackle the low number of poorer families applying to Catholic schools.

"We have a basic philosophy that no child should miss out due simply to costs," said Mr White, who took on the role in February. "We want schools to be inviting and inclusive, whether the child has special needs or family financial limitations."

A possible strategy is a fund to which families with special needs could apply.

Catholic Education week was launched yesterday, with special masses, carnivals and celebrations involving the state's 13,000 Catholic school students running all week.

"I'm pleased to report enrolment numbers are starting to go up very strongly in the secondary sector and, for the first time, in the primary sector too," Mr White said. "I think it's a reflection of the fact that Tasmania really is on the move again. We had a lot of young families leaving Tasmania and they're starting to have families again in Tassie."

Mr White said consultation with school communities statewide had led to four key areas of change, including a new, more relevant program for religious education.

"For many years Tasmania was using a program from Melbourne, which has now been discontinued. We are joining with three Victorian diocese in the development of a program," he said.

The Mercury

Catholic Education Tasmania

26 Aug 2003