The Diocese of Lismore Catholic School includes 46 educational establishments from the Tweed to Port Macquiarie, including Grafton, the Northern Rivers and inland areas.
The Diocese of Lismore Catholic School includes 46 educational establishments from the Tweed to Port Macquiarie, including Grafton, the Northern Rivers and inland areas.

Local Catholic school fees used to prop up Sydney campuses

MORE than $4 million will be allocated to Sydney Catholic schools from fees paid from the Lismore Catholic Diocese in 2020.

And $5.37 million in funds generated locally were allocated to metro schools in 2019 and $7.07 million in 2016.

Funding for Catholic Schools NSW (CSNSW) from all levels of government amounted to $2.8 billion in 2020, but how that money is allocated is finally decided by CSNSW.

According to a report by the ABC, leaked documents show NSW Catholic schools are missing out, after $300 million in public funding has been diverted from some schools to others.

The ABC reported that "the scheme aimed to keep fees low for families in wealthy parts of Sydney, according to the documents."

For two years, the local schools received money.

The Lismore Diocese received $2.95M in 2017 and $0.89M in 2018.

It was the only regional division to receive funds.

In a statement, the Diocese of Lismore Catholic Schools Office said they were "committed to offering families a quality Catholic education".

"We operate within the CSNSW funding framework which aims to keep fees low for all families who wish to send their children to a Catholic school," the statement explained.

"This funding model is distributed in accordance with government legislation, is publicly available and works to support government policy of school choice for Australian families.

"To further support families who wish to send their children to a Catholic school in the Diocese of Lismore and to ensure our Catholic schools remain affordable and accessible to all, we always have and will continue to; offer fee relief to families who may be experiencing financial difficulties."

The Diocese of Lismore stretches from Tweed Heads to Port Macquarie, and west to the foothills of the Great Dividing Range.

The Lismore Catholic Schools Office offers jobs to 2,500 staff in 46 schools with around 18,500 students.

Last year, the diocese confirmed the governance of the 46 Catholic schools were to move from being administered by each Parish into a company structure within the next 12 months.

The schools were scheduled to transition this year into a centralised governance model controlled by a company, in a new system implemented for the first time in NSW.

That company is the Diocese of Lismore Catholic Schools Ltd.

The Diocese of Lismore Catholic Schools Office's statement said the move to the new governance model was underway and, "as you may appreciate, the complete transition will take time".


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