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Population shift challenges Brisbane schools

The Brisbane Archdiocese Education Summit has identified the provision of new Catholic schools in growth areas as a major challenge, given the rapid increase of land prices in south-east Queensland.

Brisbane Catholic Education (BCE) executive director David Hutton told the Catholic Leader that BCE schools face "the most significant challenges in their history".

He cited the increase in land prices in high-growth areas, and the reality that "the Church looks increasingly to Catholic education to lead its presence in new, mostly low socio-economic communities".

The other major challenge is a move into primary level education by some schools run by religious congregations, in order to remain viable. This is occuring in low-growth established localities, where school age population is likely to decline markedly within the next 15 years, and schools will be forced to cannibalise each other's students.

The concerns were aired last weekend at the Education Summit, which Archbishop John Bathersby called in the wake of the Archdiocesan Synod held earlier this year.

The 80 Summit participants represented a cross-section of stakeholders, including BCE authorities, religious institute schools, parents and priests. Facilitator Leo Dunne commended their willingness to share in the planning of new schools.

The summit steering committee will meet on Wednesday to consider the responses from the summit and to work on preparing a report for the archbishop.

[Pictured at the Summit: Archbishop John Bathersby with Education Summit chairman Leo Dunne and secretary Robyn Leighton - from the Catholic Leader]

Education issues aired (Catholic Leader)

Brisbane Catholic Education
Archdiocese of Brisbane | Synod 2003

24 Oct 2003