Despite media speculation on school closures, Catholic education is strong and here to stay, says Catholic Education Melbourne Acting Executive Director, Jim Miles.
‘Ill-informed conjecture by some outlets regarding the viability of Catholic schools with enrolment decline is feeding uncertainty in some school communities’, Mr Miles said.
‘Hardworking Catholic school principals who are making a real difference to their communities and to shaping the lives of so many young Victorians are being chased by journalists out for a scoop that just isn’t coming.’
Mr Miles said that the Catholic sector was saddened by the Presentation Sisters decision to close Presentation College Windsor, but that this did not reflect the broader situation in Catholic schools across Melbourne.
‘Instant analyses that only focus on one or two data points do not reflect a fully informed picture for Catholic schools’, said Mr Miles.
‘In a number of schools, including Mercy College, Coburg, and Nazareth College, Noble Park North, new leaders are breathing life into their school communities and turning around enrolments.’
‘Instead of talking down school communities and undermining parents’ confidence in their choice of Catholic education, single-sex education or a combination of both, commentators should pause to try and understand the individual circumstances of school communities.’
‘What might be true in one school is unlikely to be true in another’, Mr Miles said.
Mr Miles also said that Catholic Education Melbourne works with all schools to ensure they have a viable future.
‘Catholic education has a number of processes in place – marketing training, access to demographic profiles and systemic frameworks – to address and arrest enrolment decline where necessary’, said Mr Miles.
‘We are committed to working with all school communities to deliver a quality Catholic education to their students.’
‘We are also mindful of our commitments to both the Victorian and Australian governments to deliver educational and community value for the investment they make in Catholic schools.’
Like everyone in the Catholic education community, we’re saddened that Presentation College Windsor (PCW) will be closing at the end of the 2020 school year.
We know this was a difficult decision for the Presentation Sisters, and not one taken lightly.
Catholic Education Melbourne will continue to provide support to the College and its community over the next 18 months.
We will be working to ensure that all PCW students seeking to continue their Catholic education after the College closes at the end of next year will be accommodated in another of our schools from the beginning of 2021.
Further information: Michael Pountney, Acting Assistant Director, 0409 860 884