The gap between the level of government funding provided to State schools and non-government schools makes it necessary for Catholic schools to charge fees. At the same time, it ensures the Catholic school system is able to maintain some independence to achieve the ideals of the Catholic Church in operating schools.
Even when parent contributions are taken into account, on average, Catholic schools operate at a resourcing level of 90% of that of government schools, giving rise to Catholic schools operating more efficiently in order to maintain the high quality of education that Catholic Education is known for and our families rightly expect.
School (Tuition) Fees for 2019
A tuition fee is charged for children attending a Catholic school in the Cairns Diocese. These fees are fixed by Catholic Education Services (CES) and are reviewed annually.
Catholic Education Services Levy
A part of our school fees goes to Catholic Education Services (CES) which helps to pay teachers’ wages and to support staff with in-service courses to keep the teaching staff up to date on current education initiatives. Every school pays a percentage of their fees to CES for this purpose.
In addition to the Tuition Fee, there is:
Per family levies (annual):
- Capital Levy
- P & F fundraising levy
Per student levies (annual): Resource levy – Prep – Year 6
This levy is used to cover:
- Arts Council Performances
- Water Safety Program and travel
- First Aid supplies
- Resources – classroom
- Computer licensing and software
- Art and craft materials
- Duplicating and photocopying
- Supplementary learning materials and teaching aids for the classroom
- Excursions and Camps
- Sports Programs
School Levies are set and reviewed annually by the St Thomas’ P&F Association and approved by the Parish Priest.
Accounts are sent out each term. Fees can be paid on a weekly/fortnightly/monthly or term basis according to your preference. Payment should be made at the school office. Please return the accounts with payment in order to ensure the correct account is receipted. School fees are due three weeks after the date of issue.
Payment options are available. Facilities are available for payment to be taken from a bank account, or transfers can be made via internet banking. BPay facility and EFTPOS are also available. Please call into the school administration for further details.
It is appreciated that some families may face hardship in meeting fees. It is important that families who want to access Catholic education for their children are not excluded because they do not have the means to pay fees. It is our expressed policy to assist any family in this situation. Families who will experience personal financial hardship in meeting school fees should contact the principal to confidentially discuss fee concessions. If full or partial exemption is granted, it is done only on an annual basis.
Unfortunately, there are other families who have the capacity to pay or to make a serious contribution to school fees that hide behind this gospel value of not denying a Catholic education to those experiencing genuine financial hardship. Those who are not paying full fees, for valid or fanciful reasons, are effectively being subsidised by others. Refusal to pay, where deliberate and without due consultation with the school, will be actioned in accordance with Diocesan procedures for fee recovery.
Pensioner and health care card holder fee discount
In addition to these family and country school discounts that have historically been offered, Cairns Catholic Education has introduced means-tested concession card discounts from 2016.
Parents/carers with a means-tested Australian government health care or pensioner concession card are automatically eligible to receive a 70% discount to tuition fees (does not apply to school levies). Card holders are required to advise the school of their concession card at enrolment or when the card is gained. Once the card is sighted by the school’s administration, tuition fees will be adjusted.