Frequently Asked Questions

ENROLMENT

Enrolling my child - Where do I start?

Enrolments for all grades are accepted all year round but the best time to enrol your child into Kindergarten/Year 7 is at the beginning of the year (February-April), the year before your child is due to commence school.

Contact the school office by phone or in person to put your child’s name on the enrolment list and you will be given/sent an enrolment form. Alternatively, you can download an enrolment package below.

Enrolment interviews are usually held in May. You will receive a letter before this time, informing you of a time for you and your child to come in and meet with the Principal. 

Contact the school to make an appointment with the Principal if you have any questions or concerns about enrolling your child into the school.

download button gold4  Download Primary Enrolment Package 
download button gold4  Download Secondary Enrolment Package
download button gold4  Download St Francis Catholic College Enrolment Package

Are people of other faiths able to enrol in Catholic schools?

Yes, Catholic schools are open to all who seek a Catholic education.  However, students and families are expected to fully support the Catholic ethos and values of the school, including participating in religious activities of the school.

Is there an order or priority when considering Kindergarten enrolment placement?

Yes. The Catholic Education Office has a policy that specifies an order of preference when considering enrolment applications.  All children must be enrolled in school by their 6th birthday.  However, children whose fifth birthday occurs on or before 30 June may apply to enrol for Kindergarten that year.  At times places will be limited in a school and priority will be given according to the following order:

  • Catholic children who live in the local Parish
  • Catholic children from other parishes
  • Children of families who actively participate in the life of the school and local parish community (eg siblings)
  • Orthodox children 
  • Children from other Christian faiths
  • Children of non-Christian faith

The Enrolment Policy is outlined at the beginning of the Primary Enrolment Package.

What documentation do I need to enrol my child?

Each school is responsible for their own enrolments, but generally the following documentation will be required upon submitting the enrolment form:

  • birth certificate
  • Baptismal certificate
  • Reconciliation, Communion and Confirmation certificates if transferring from another school
  • immunisation record
  • passport (if not Australian citizen)
  • VISAs if applicable
  • medical records
  • emergency contact details
  • copy of any court order which affects parental responsibilities for the child
  • school reports and NAPLAN results if transferring from another school

 PASTORAL CARE

Do schools provide counselling or psychological services?

Yes.  Counsellors from the CatholicCare School Student and Family Program (SFFP) work within CEDoW schools to promote the wellbeing and development of students, and to improve connectedness between students, families and school communities. Go to School Counselling page on this website or go to CatholicCare website to find out more. 

download with padding  Download SSFP brochure    

We have recently experienced a significant loss in the family.  Is there support available for my child?

Counselling can be arranged for your child through CatholicCare's School, Student & Family Program (SSFP).  Speak to your school Principal or call CatholicCare directly on  4227 1122 for more information.

download with padding2  Download SSFP brochure 

EMPLOYMENT

I am a new graduate.  How do I apply to teach in a Catholic school?

APPLYING FOR CASUAL STATUS

To be approved to seek employment as a casual teacher you must complete the Application for Employment form.  Teaching clearance within the Diocese can be obtained in advance of any advertised position.

Applications should be sent to:

Head of Human Resource Services
Catholic Education Office, Diocese of Wollongong
Locked Mail Bag 8802
Wollongong NSW 2500

APPLYING FOR AN ADVERTISED POSITION

Teaching positions are advertised in the Positions Vacant section of this website, as well as on teachers.on.net

Go to Applying for a Position for more information.

Where are teaching and other positions in the Diocese of Wollongong advertised?

All positions are advertised in

Do I need to be Catholic to teach in a Catholic school?

To teach Religious Education in a Catholic school, it is generally expected that all teachers are of the Catholic faith and have an RE qualification, or a commitment to obtain religious education accreditation.  Other positions may not require the applicant to be Catholic.  However, all staff are expected to fully support the Catholic ethos and values of the school, including participating in religious activities of the school.

How do I apply to be a casual teacher in a Catholic school?

To be approved to seek employment as a casual teacher you must complete the Application for Employment form.  Teaching clearance within the Diocese can be obtained in advance of any advertised position.

Applications should be sent to:

Head of Human Resource Services
Catholic Education Office, Diocese of Wollongong
Locked Mail Bag 8802
Wollongong NSW 2500

What can I expect in an interview for a position in Diocese of Wollongong School / Office?

Go to Career Planning, for support and advice on applying and interviewing for positions.

How do I obtain a Working With Children Check?

Go to Working With Children Check for a help-guide on the type of WWCC you will need.


FUNDING & SCHOOL FEES

How does Catholic school funding work?

 

How much are the school fees?

Annual school fees are comprised of:

  • Tuition Fees
  • Building Levy - Secondary
  • SEDSO (School Enhancement and Debt Servicing Obligation) - Primary
  • School-Based Service Fee

See individual school websites for fees specific to each school Find a School

download with padding3   Diocesan School Fee Management policy  

What about families who can't afford school fees?

NO CHILD SHOULD BE DENIED A CATHOLIC EDUCATION BECAUSE OF GENUINE FINANCIAL HARDSHIP.

While enrolment carries an obligation to pay all School Fees and Levies, Catholic Social Teaching and the Gospel imperative of a 'preferential option for the poor' means that our practice in the Diocese of Wollongong has always been to find a place for families who support its Catholic ethos and are seeking a Catholic education for their child. Families experiencing genuine financial hardship are encouraged to apply for assistance via fee concession.

Our working definition of genuine financial hardship is…a situation where a family is unable, reasonably, because of illness, unemployment or other reasonable cause, to discharge their financial obligations to pay school fees, rather than an unwillingness or reluctance to do so. Financial hardship can be of limited or long term duration.

A Parent/Carer experiencing genuine financial hardship and who is unable to pay school fees should approach the school office to seek an Application for Fee Concession and make an appointment to see the principal. Early communication with the school regarding a family's financial situation is essential. Please be assured that your situation will be treated with absolute discretion and confidentiality and an appropriate fee concession arrangement may be made with you.

Further details regarding Fee Concession arrangements are included in the School Fee Management Policy below.

download with padding4  Diocesan School Fee Management Policy.

 POLICY

I can't find the policy I am looking for.  Who can I contact? 

 Contact the Catholic Education Office on 4253 0800 and you will be put in touch with the appropriate contact person.

Do schools follow their own policies or are they governed by the Catholic Education Office?

Schools will adhere to a combination of policies from the Catholic Education Office and their own school-specific policies. A list of policies can be found on the Policy Directory page of this website. See individual school websites for their own policy directories.

I have a concern about the implementation of a policy.  What can I do now?

The first port of call should always be to make an appointment with your child's teacher or principal/assistant principal.  If your concerns are still unresolved and you wish to discuss the matter further, you can contact Catholic Education Office Reception staff on 4253 0800, who will put you in contact with the relevant staff member, or alternatively you can email complaints@dow.catholic.edu.au


GENERAL

What are the school term dates for 2017? 

School terms in Catholic schools are generally the same as in public schools.  However, some schools may choose to allocate their Staff Professional Development Days differently to others, so it is important to check with your school for exact starting/finishing times. Many schools have the exact dates listed on their school website. 

NSW Catholic Schools Term Dates and Public Holidays

My child will be absent from school.  What do I do?

More information coming

Do all schools have the same pupil free days throughout the year?

No, each school is responsible for allocating their own Professional Development Days for staff.  Many schools like to use these days at the beginning or end of term, which means less disruption during the term, and makes the school holiday break one or two days longer.

Do primary schools have before and after school care?

Most primary schools offer a before/after school care service.  Some are located within the school premises and others provide a mini-bus service to transport children to and from another location.  Contact your school for more details.


COMPLAINTS

I have a complaint about a child / parent / staff member at school.  What should I do?

You will always be encouraged to discuss a complaint at a school level before contacting the Catholic Education Office.  However, an employee, student, parent or community member has the right to report a concern about any decision, behaviour, act or omission that they feel is unreasonable by contacting the Concerns and Complaints Officer at the Catholic Education Office.

CRITICAL INCIDENT & COMPLAINT HANDLING OFFICER

School Improvement Services Specialist Support

Ph  4253 0937
complaints@dow.catholic.edu.au