School Fees

Fee Overview

Catholic schools are typically seen as providing high-quality education supported by quality facilities and learning environments. It is the policy of the Catholic Schools Office that financial hardship should not prevent any child from attending a Catholic school and no child will be denied a Catholic education because of a family’s genuine inability to pay the required school fees. Any family experiencing financial difficulties is entitled to fee assistance however; you do need to make an appointment with your local school principal or delegate to discuss a fee agreement.

Together with parents, clergy and school staff, St Joseph’s is committed to offering the children in the Branxton, Cessnock, Lochinvar, Maitland, Rutherford and surrounding local government areas access to schools in which their faith can be nurtured in outstanding learning environments. We seek to assist young people to realise their full potential, taking into account their unique spiritual, intellectual, physical and social needs.

The greater part of diocesan schools’ funding comes from State and Commonwealth Government grants, but the commitment and continuing financial contribution of parents and parish communities is still essential to fill the gap between the funds provided by government and the actual cost of running our schools. School fees are comprised of three components – Diocesan Tuition Fees, Individual School Resource and Service Fees and Diocesan Family School Building Levy (DFSBL).

The school fees constitute three components:

  1. Diocesan Tuition Fees
  2. Individual School Resource and Service Fees
  3. Diocesan Family School Building Levy (DFSBL)

School fees are an integral part of our Catholic school system and parents are required to sign a fee agreement commitment form on enrolment. Fee arrangements may be considered in extenuating circumstances and in consultation with the principal or delegate. 

Diocesan Tuition Fees 2021

These are set each year by the Bishop. In 2021, the full rate diocesan tuition fees are:

  • Years 7 to 10 - $1,767
  • Years 11 to 12 - $2,682

The 2021, family discount on full rate diocesan tuition fees is:

  • 1 child family - 0% - full rate to be applied
  • 2 child family - 15% - each child
  • 3 child family - 25% - each child
  • 4 + child family - 50% - each child

 

School Resource and Activities Fees

There is a Resource Fee and Activities Fee per year for students. This fee covers printing of work books etc. as well as specialist materials needed for particular KLAs.

Excursions and some incursions identified by KLA coordinators maybe included in the activities fee and school fees must be up to date in order for students to participate in these excursions/incursions.

Diocesan Family School Building Levy (DFSBL)

The DFSBL is charged to the oldest child for each family. The levy is pooled to contribute towards past, present and future costs for building projects across all existing schools, and for the development of new Catholic schools within the Diocese.

This DFSBL contribution from families is spent on major refurbishment and capital works in existing schools, including classroom replacement, toilet facilities, specialist rooms, and playground areas. In new schools the levy provides all capital works including administration block, general purpose learning areas, chapel, specialist rooms, toilet facilities, and non-teaching spaces including playground and oval spaces.

The Catholic Schools Office is committed to a robust building and development program across the school system that will truly enhance the physical facilities for students.

The DFSBL rate in 2021 will be $1,344 per family.

he DFSBL rate is reviewed, recommended and approved in the same manner as mentioned earlier for tuition fees and discounts.

 

Other Fees

Diocesan Pastoral Contribution

The Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle consists of parishes, schools, CatholicCare Social Services, St Nicholas Early Education and the Curia offices. The Diocesan offices exist to support the work of Parishes and other pastoral ministries that are the responsibility of the Bishop and the diocesan community. There are approximately 160,000 Catholics residing in our diocese.

The voluntary diocesan pastoral contribution for 2021 is $300 per family ($100 per term for 3 terms). These funds will support the ongoing pastoral works of the diocese which include, amongst many initiatives:

  • The diocesan pastoral ministries office and the activities of its many advisory councils - the Diocesan Pastoral Council, the Adult Faith Formation Council, the Liturgy Council, the Ecumenical and Interfaith Council, the Social Justice Council and the Diocesan Council of Ministry with Young People
  • The provision of chaplains ministering in the following areas – Newcastle University, Newcastle Port, Prisons, Hospitals and CatholicCare Social Services
  • Family Community Faith Coordinators who work to reach out to and connect families with their local parish and school
  • Pastoral Coordinators who work in those parishes without a resident Parish Priest.

 

Enrolment Fee

A non-refundable enrolment fee of $200 is to be paid when applying for enrolment at St Joseph’s. The enrolment fee covers all administrative work involved in processing the application.

Special Fee Reductions

To assist families with limited financial resources, Catholic schools in the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle offer a lower tuition fee to ‘means tested’ low income families such as Health Care and Pension Card holders. This rate is 50% of the Diocesan Tuition Fee full rate for each child. This discount applies only to the Diocesan Tuition Fee, not to the DFSBL or other resource and service fees charged by each individual school.

Please note, however, that it is our policy that financial hardship should not prevent a child from attending a Catholic School and no child will be denied a Catholic Education because of a family’s genuine inability to pay the required school fees. This does not apply only to the eligible Health Care/Pension Card holders mentioned above. Any family experiencing financial difficulties is entitled to fee assistance. The Principal of the school can be contacted to discuss such situations.

Together with parents, clergy and school staff, we are committed to offering the children and young people in this diocese, schools in which their faith can be nurtured in outstanding learning environments. We seek to assist young people to realize their full human potential, spiritual, intellectual, physical and social. We value the opportunity to work in partnership with you to that end, and thank you for your continuing support of Catholic Education in this Diocese.

Further Concessions

A genuine inability to meet school account charges does not exclude access to any school within the diocese for a child of a family genuinely committed to Catholic faith and practice. Parents concerned about school fees should ensure they make contact with the school. Diocesan provisions exist to help in this area and the principal can also exercise discretion where genuine need exists.

Billing Cycle and Payment of Fees

School fees are billed annually in Term 1.

Payment method can be via direct debit with the CDF; BPay using the fee statement reference number; or credit card over the counter, EFTPOS  or cash. Please contact the College Senior Finance Officer to discuss payment options.

  • Each fee payer can tailor frequency of payments to suit individual circumstances
  • Direct debit payment frequency options can be established as weekly, fortnightly or monthly
  • BPay can be at your discretion and can be set up as an automated payment

A range of alternative payment plans are available. These include dividing the fees over 10 equal payments from February to November for Years 7 to 11, and eight equal payments from February to September for Year 12. Please contact the Finance Office for further details.

Please note that just as parents have regular bills to pay, so too does the College, so all fee payers are expected to be making regular payments. This also ensures that fees can be managed. 

Please be aware that if your direct debit is dishonoured more than three times the school will cancel the deduction. For any dishonoured direct debit, the school is charged a fee of $2.50 by your financial institution. This fee will be passed on to the fee payer and will appear on the next statement. No receipts are issued – please check bank account for proof of payment. 

Some fees such as excursions, incursions and sport may continue to be charged separately during the course of the year prior to the event being held.

Please contact the Finance Office staff if you have any questions.