The Labor leaders met with executive staff from both the Catholic Schools Office and St Mary's to discuss how the funding has provided specialised support to students and enabled significant growth of our school system to cater to the increasing number of families seeking a Catholic education.
All 56 of the schools within the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle have greatly benefited from this extra funding with advantages including the enhanced provision of technology available to schools, support for students with special learning needs, greater staffing at low socio-economic status schools, the development of specialist programs that support gifted and talented students and support for the increasing number of indigenous students enrolling in local Catholic schools.
Director of Schools, Dr Michael Slattery said St Mary’s is already seeing the benefits of the additional money.
“St Mary’s Catholic College, Gateshead, is one of two schools within our diocese that is currently in key planning phase to introduce Years 11 and 12 over 2018 and 2019 which requires substantial development and construction of the school. The extra funding is providing St Mary’s with the required resources to introduce senior classes including planning and teaching staff and enhanced facilities to support the delivery of VET Courses, particularly in Hospitality and Construction. VET courses lead to jobs and to further study at TAFE, so they are integral to ensuring ongoing employment for our students long after school. Without such support and assurance of funding these reforms offer, we would struggle to meet the needs of our students and wider community,” Dr Slattery said.
The group also discussed St Pius X Primary School, Windale, a feeder school into St Mary's, which is the lowest SES school in NSW.
"Past government funding has allowed for additional teachers to be hired at St Pius X to help support these students. Being in a position to implement special programs for literacy and numeracy is a prime example of how the extra funding has really supported the school. Removing this funding would seriously jeopardise that," Mr Slattery said.
To read more about the funding cuts and Labor's position on this, please read the full media release here.