Above; The incoming principal of Sacred Heart New Town, Elizabeth McDougall
Demand for a Catholic education in Tasmania is rising, with enrolments in the state's Catholic schools growing faster than those in the government and independent sectors.
While non-government schools enrol about 35 per cent of students nationwide, Tasmania's government school enrolments have been significantly higher than in other states and territories.New figures released this month show the proportion of students in Tasmanian government schools has dipped below 70 per cent for the first time.
Despite falling enrolments across the state over the past decade, Catholic schools in Tasmania bucked the trend and saw enrolments increase by 1,352, The Sunday Tasmanian reported.In conjunction with an overall trend of 2,820 fewer students across the state over that period, Catholic schools educated 18.65 of Tasmanian students in 2016, up from 16.4 in 2006.
Catholic Education Tasmania director John Mula acknowledged that families choose a particular school for their children based on a number of factors, but parents, especially in regional and rural parts of the state, appreciate the choice Catholic schools offer.Elizabeth McDougall, principal at Sacred Heart College in New Town, which has seen significant enrolment growth, spoke of the diversity of the school's student population, with many students who have arrived as "humanitarian entrants" from countries like Syria, Sri Lanka and Nepal.
Intensive language programs, the school's values and pastoral care, and the broad curriculum are strong drawcards for those families, Mrs McDougall told The Sunday Tasmanian
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