Jim MilesThe 2019 Catholic Education Melbourne Annual Report brings together the highlights of an exciting year for education in the Archdiocese of Melbourne.

Catholic education has a transformative power, grounded in faith, and it shapes the minds of our young people as they become vibrant and active contributors within our society.

Examples of this power abound throughout 2019, from the 667 students from the Archdiocese who travelled to Perth to further their faith journey at the Australian Catholic Youth Festival, to the continued growth of Catholic identity and mission in our schools and students.

We also took significant steps to improve the already high-quality Catholic education offered in the Archdiocese. Through the delivery of school improvement surveys and a new School Improvement Framework, we have laid the foundations for our schools to adapt and grow to meet the changing education needs of the future.

This commitment to building a strong foundation for the future of Catholic education was also reflected in our ongoing efforts to achieve fair funding for our sector.

During 2019, we focused on the development of a measure based on a new way of means-testing the families whose children attend non-government schools. This new measure will become the most important factor in the amount of government funding that schools receive, replacing the flawed socio-economic status (SES) scoring system.

Under the new method, known as ‘Direct Measure of Income’ (DMI) scoring, school communities will be means-tested based on their family incomes using data collected from the Australian Taxation Office and other government agencies. Catholic Education Melbourne participated in a working group that provided recommendations to the Australian Government on the specific technical details for creating DMI scores.

Parents who have chosen, or will choose, a high-quality Catholic education for their children can be confident that these efforts are helping to deliver new schools to serve our growing school communities across Melbourne.

Two new schools joined us in 2019: Glowrey Catholic School, Wollert, and Holy Trinity Catholic Primary School, Sunbury. Extensive planning and design work were also completed for the two new schools to join us in 2020: Iona College Geelong, Charlemont, and St Catherine of Siena Catholic Primary School, Armstrong Creek.

I am excited by the possibilities these new schools will open up for their families and communities.

These new schools demonstrate the continuing vitality of Catholic education in Melbourne.

They also show the continuing demand for a Catholic education that recognises the unique abilities and needs of each and every student, ensuring that students can make the most of their academic, spiritual, physical, social and moral potential.

Inspired by our commitment to educating the whole person, Catholic schools will continue to respond to the expectations of parents and the changing landscape of contemporary learning. We engage students and prepare them as global citizens, equipped to face the future with confidence and sensitivity to social justice issues and always informed by their faith.

Jim Miles

Executive Director

Catholic Education Melbourne