10/03/2021 - 10:00

Catholic schools seek better deal

10/03/2021 - 10:00

Bookmark

Upgrade your subscription to use this feature.

Funding for capital works, mental health services and hygienic upkeep are among the top priorities for Catholic Education Western Australia ahead of the state election.

Catholic schools seek better deal
Debra Sayce says parents at WA’s Catholic schools are footing a large bill for their children’s education

Funding for capital works, mental health services and hygienic upkeep are among the top priorities for Catholic Education Western Australia ahead of the state election.

That’s according to the organisation’s election platform, jointly formulated with Catholic School Parents WA, which outlines what the body is calling a “fairer funding deal” from the incoming state government.

CEWA executive director Debra Sayce said the platform called on the state government to commit an additional $10 million to recurrent spending on psychological services.

Asked to address the expected recurrent cost of additional funding for cleaning, Professor Sayce estimated the cost of cleaning schools during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic was as much as $35,000, depending on the school’s size.

CEWA is responsible for 163 schools in the state.

Meanwhile, Professor Sayce pegged total demand for capital works in 2020 at $90 million, with the state and federal government contributing $39 million between them in grants and low-interest loans.

That equates to a shortfall of $51 million.

Professor Sayce said while CEWA was grateful for the support of both the federal and state governments, the organisation believed there was a disparity in funding that ought to be addressed.

“It’s about the voice of the parents,” she said.

“Parents have chosen a Catholic education; they’re all taxpayers, and they’re footing a large bill for the education of their children.”

Professor Sayce did not say whether fees would decrease if more funding was delivered by the incoming state government, citing existing Enterprise Bargaining Agreements and Consumer Price Index increases as factors.

She said no fees had increased in 2020 because of the pandemic and pointed to several efforts to provide fee relief to parents in financial distress, such as affordability inclusion zones.

“We have to gauge it depending on funding we get in terms of what the outcomes through federal and state government funding,” Professor Sayce said.

“We try to minimise cost to parents. That’s our desire.”

CEWA ranks 28th on Data & Insights’ list of not-for-profit businesses, with total revenue of between $36 million and $52 million.

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

Subscription Options