CATHOLIC education in Queensland enters another busy year with the opening of a new primary school, expanded kindergarten services and ongoing preparations for the transition of Year 7 to secondary school in 2015.
About 143,000 or one in five Queensland students and more than 17,000 teachers and staff will begin the school year at one of 297 Catholic schools across the state on January 28.
Queensland Catholic Education Commission executive director Mike Byrne said Emerald’s new St Brigid’s School had opened for the 2014 school year.
“Good Shepherd Primary School, Springfield Lakes; Mother Teresa Primary School, Ormeau; St Clare’s Primary School, Burdell Townsville and St Benedict’s College, Mango Hill, continue to add new year levels,” he said.
“Two further kindergarten services will open on Catholic school sites at Gatton and Mango Hill this year.
“A new kindergarten has also been developed by the Rockhampton diocese in Emerald.”
Mr Byrne said St Brigid’s, Emerald was the first Catholic school to be built with assistance from the Newman Government’s Building Our Future Schools Fund.
“The State Government has contributed $6.1 million to the development of St Brigid’s which has been strongly support by families in Emerald,” he said.
The QCEC would continue to engage with a number of government policy issues on behalf of the Catholic sector, Mr Byrne said.
These include the reviews of the Australian curriculum and the Queensland OP score, senior assessment and tertiary entrance processes.
He said Catholic sector preparations for the move of Year 7 to secondary school in 2015, while well advanced, would also gather further momentum this year.
“I thank our families for their ongoing support for Catholic schools and offer best wishes to all Queensland school communities – Catholic, state and independent – for a happy, safe and productive year ahead,” Mr Byrne said.
Catholic schools in Queensland educate about 18.5 per cent of all students and almost 60 per cent of students in non-government schools.
Enrolments in Catholic schools have been growing by 2-3 per cent over the past decade.
Queensland’s Catholic schools are operated by five diocesan education authorities based in Cairns, Townsville, Rockhampton, Toowoomba and Brisbane and 16 Religious Institutes.