From the Principal
Welcome to term 3.
I want to write firstly regarding ongoing costs for 2021 and beyond.
We are currently in a really challenging time – but I am sure you are tired of hearing that. As a College, we have worked hard this year to maintain the health and wellbeing of our community despite this and I very much appreciate the way you have supported us.
Beyond the immediate impact of Covid though, we can anticipate a significant period of recession that we know is already impacting upon members of our community. Latest reports indicate that this recession will be accompanied by real-term wage deflation and the unemployment rate already sits at 1 million nationally.
Generally, school fees increase annually in line with inflationary costs. So, the fee increase from 2019 to 2020 covered the College’s inflationary costs only. To overcome some of the immediate impacts of the current economic climate upon the community, it is the present intention of the College to freeze tuition fees for 2021, and to only increase in line with inflation for 2022. I hope that this will enable more confident budgeting for families who are experiencing the impact of the recession.
In addition, we are also seeking a greater reduction in expense for students in years 4-12 who use digital devices. We will seek to use these devices to reduce stationery and reference/text book costs where we can. Mrs Gillett and I have also started to investigate ways that book lists can be further rationalised down to increase savings for families.
For 2020, we offered a generous discount to families that paid the entire year’s fees in advance. We will offer this again for 2021, but the percentage reduction will be decreased to enable the College to cover other inflationary costs.
This is at a time when we are growing in numbers and in presence. The Subject Showcase that will go to the community on 28 July is a really strong example of that. It sits solidly underneath not only our requirement to offer a broad and balanced state-endorsed curriculum, but also our mission as a Catholic school to provide an education that is aimed at the ‘whole person’ - one that is explicit in developing universal skills that enable full access to the world.
As a Catholic school, we trade in the currency of education; but also vocation and formation. Really, if we are getting it right, we should be able to interchange these words and have their meaning and impact lose nothing. Education is from the Latin root to ‘bring forth’ or to ‘draw out’. I love that idea – that our skills and our dignity are within us, but it is through our interactions with teachers and fellow learners that they emerge. Vocation is from the Latin ‘vocare’ - to ‘call out or call forth’. This speaks of calling out gifts – but also of following a calling. Formation is a word that has changed little over 2000 years – its Latin is simply to ‘form’. Again, as a Catholic school that is our bread and butter.
I was really fortunate recently to be supported by parents representing the Junior and Senior schools who assisted me in developing an outline of what our formational culture could start to look like as we grow. I am very conscious that as we move from being a 2-3 form Junior school to a P-12 College of near to 1000 children, we will need to intentionally create that culture. We need it to be one informed strongly by our Catholic mission, but also one that authentically mirrors the needs of our community, here, now. There will be a lot of work over the next six months that seeks to grow not only the built environment of the College, but also the cultural touchstones that help to define us. You are strongly invited to contribute to that.