Catholic schools provide a welcoming, inclusive and safe environment focused on your child’s wellbeing, achievement, challenge, creativity and enjoyment.
Catholic school leaders and teachers are committed to an education that integrates and celebrates faith, learning and life. They provide religious education and opportunities for faith development in communities where prayer and sacramental celebrations are integral to life. Students are encouraged to engage in civic and public life, involving community service and working for social justice.
Catholic schools encourage parents to become involved in their child’s learning and engaged in school life. Working together, schools and families create an effective learning environment and a climate of mutual respect. This ensures timely communication and enables discussion on matters of concern.
Catholic secondary schools are located in various regions across Victoria and come under the jurisdiction of the archbishop or bishop of the diocese in which they are located. Some Catholic secondary schools are owned and governed by a religious institute (RI) or ministerial public juridic person (MPJP). From 2021 onwards, the remaining Catholic secondary schools will be owned and governed by a company limited by guarantee on behalf of each diocese.
Parents are encouraged to attend information sessions and open days at Catholic secondary schools to assist in choosing a school for their child.
If you wish your child to attend a Catholic secondary school, you need to contact the school when your child is in Year 5 (though some schools accept applications in earlier years). You will be asked to complete and return an enrolment application form to enable schools to plan for their Year 7 intake.
All secondary schools have information days or tours, allowing you to view the school facilities and ask questions of the appropriate staff. Selection into a Catholic secondary school is guided by the school’s enrolment policy. The policy usually takes into account a number of factors:
- the relevant diocesan enrolment policy
- whether your child is Catholic
- the parish where your child resides
- whether your child has a sibling at the school
- whether you or your spouse attended the school
- the number of places available in the year level of application.
For more information about a Catholic secondary school in your locality, visit the Catholic education office website for your diocese (see below). These can connect you to the school’s own website.
Catholic education offices
In Catholic secondary schools, the setting of fees and levies is the responsibility of the individual school, taking into account the allocation of government funds. Most schools offer a number of methods for paying fees to reduce any financial burden and to assist financial planning. If you have difficulty in meeting the required fee payment, you are encouraged to discuss this with the principal or business manager of the school.
The Victorian Government’s secondary school vaccination program offers free vaccines to students in Years 7 and 10. These vaccines provide protection against:
- diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis (whooping cough) – one dose for Year 7 students
- human papillomavirus (HPV) – two doses for Year 7 students
- meningococcal ACWY – one dose for Year 10 students.
The protection provided by some childhood immunisations fades over time and needs to be boosted in adolescence. Secondary school students are at an age when a vaccine will be most effective in providing protection before possible exposure to a disease.
To learn more about the secondary school vaccination program, the vaccines, the diseases they protect against and how to prepare your child for vaccination, see www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/healthyliving/immunisation-in-secondary-schools.
One of the most pivotal stages of schooling is the transition from primary school to the more complex world of secondary school. This transition is exciting, but can also be a challenging time for some students and families. Schools actively support students as they make this educational and social shift.
As part of the transition from Year 6 to Year 7, students usually participate in an orientation program at the school. This day is generally held in Term 4 of Year 6 and may include:
- touring the school
- meeting fellow students and teachers
- taking part in special lessons and activities.
As a parent, there are many ways in which you can help your child prepare for the transition to secondary school to ensure connectedness and belonging in their new environment.
|What you can do to help your child transition to secondary school
Talk to the principal.
Look at the information on the school website.
Obtain information about enrolment requirements.
Consider your child’s views in the selection of the school.
Discuss your choice of school with your child.
Attend open days with your child.
Ensure your child attends orientation programs.
Provide any relevant information that will assist the school to know your child and support their transition. This may include information about their skills, strengths, learning development or health supports required.
Work collaboratively with your child and staff to make the transition an enjoyable and successful one.