Opening, modification or closure of educational facilities

STATEMENT OF POLICY

We are committed to achieving the educational vision of the Diocese of Townsville through providing education facilities which meet the spiritual, moral, pastoral, educational and cultural needs of the community with justice and clarity.

INTRODUCTION

Catholic education has always been an integral part of the pastoral strategy of the church in the Townsville Diocese. It has had, and continues to have, a significant role in evangelisation and in the development of faith and spirituality. “In the specifically educational field, the scope of educational functions has broadened, becoming more complex, more specialised. The sciences of education, which concentrated in the past on the study of the child and teacher training, have been widened to include the various stages of life, and the different spheres and situations beyond the school. New requirements have given force to the demand for new contents, new capabilities and new education models besides those followed traditionally. Thus education and schooling become particularly difficult today.” (Congregation for Catholic Education The Catholic School on the Threshold of the Third Millennium n.2)

RATIONALE

The Townsville Catholic Education Office will consider areas of population growth and decline, together with changing needs of communities to meet the demand for Catholic education, when planning and developing educational facilities. The development of Diocesan educational facilities and accountability to government over the years has led to a co-responsible system which seeks to balance the changes, needs, wants and aspirations of our society with responses in partnership with parish and school communities and Diocesan authorities.

POLICY DIRECTIVE

The educational facilities provided by the Diocese of Townsville will meet the spiritual, pastoral, educational and cultural needs of their communities with justice and equity. The foundation for discussion and decisions regarding the opening, closing and modification of schools within the Diocese shall be based on the following defining features:

  • A consistent commitment to Gospel values
  • Playing an integral role in the evangelizing mission of the church
  • Model God’s love for all by being a renewing community where all are valued, affirmed and empowered
  • Be staffed by qualified, competent people who give witness to Gospel values
  • Be a community of learning that provides quality, relevant, holistic education
  • Be a sacred place where the spiritual life is nurtured, and
  • Be welcome and open to all who seek a Catholic education.

The collaborative processes used to open, modify or close educational facilities shall consider the following issues:

  • Engagement with the school community
  • Needs of children, families, the parish and the Diocese
  • Quality of education
  • Legal, government and employee-related issues
  • Financial arrangements and residual government financial equity, and
  • Opportunities for cooperation with other educational providers.

REFERENCES AND DEFINITIONS

This policy applies to all Catholic Schools and Colleges, Kindergarten, OHSC and Early Learning Centres of the Townsville Diocese, and the Townsville Catholic Education Office.

National Catholic Education Commission

  • Australian Catholic Schools Why We Have Them? What They Aim To Achieve? (April 2009)

Queensland Catholic Education Commission

  • Policy Statement - Catholic Schooling in Rural and Remote Areas in Queensland (February 2010)
  • Positioning Statement - Catholic Education in Rural and Remote Areas in Queensland (March 2010)

Policy Number DEC 05_15 Date originally accepted August, 2013
Approved by Diocesan Education Council Date Updated 08 December, 2015