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St Catherine's College Newsletter from The Board of Trustees

Dear Parents, Caregivers and Whanau

Last year the Board of Trustees decided to opt into the new Government Donations Scheme for decile 1-7 schools. What does this mean for you and St Catherine’s?

In 2019 St Catherine’s asked whanau for a donation of $350 per eldest (or only) child and $150 for siblings. This donation helped cover classroom resource costs and the operational costs of the school.

So what’s changed? Under the Donations Scheme the school is no longer allowed to ask for curriculum related donations (although you are of course still able to make such a donation if you wish). Instead of us asking for a donation, the Ministry of Education has provided St Catherine’s with $150 per child for 2020 to cover almost all curriculum related expenses.

Like we’ve always done, the school is able to ask for money for some items such as school camps and optional workbooks, along with sports fees and non-curricular music.

In addition, the Proprietor (the Sisters of Mercy who own our school property) is able to ask for a donation to support the school’s special character. For many years now the Proprietor donation has been $150. This year, the Proprietor would like to help the school out by offering additional support for Religious Education levies and special character activities like retreats. To help with this, the Proprietor is asking that, in addition to making a Proprietor donation of $150 in line with last year, that you consider making an extra $100 donation to help all St Catherine’s students to learn about and experience the school’s Mercy values.

Finally, the Parent Teachers Association (PTA) also asks for a donation of money or time to support its fundraising efforts.

In the past school curriculum donations have put a lot of financial pressure on many of our whanau. This is why the Board chose to enter the Donations Scheme. However, it is important that you all know that while families will be better off under the new scheme, the school’s financial position will not be. We are currently estimating a $20,000 shortfall in funding as a result of entering the scheme.

The plan is to make up this shortfall through fundraising. We are working on how we might do this and will let you know details soon. What we do know is that we will need you to help. So, think about what support you can offer – could you join the PTA, help out at events or make a financial contribution?

We will use this 2020 school year as a trial for the new scheme. If it places too much pressure on the school’s finances, or we risk not being able to fund some of the activities provided to our students in past years, we will need to rethink whether we stay in the scheme for 2021.

Please note the Donations Scheme does not affect the Attendance Dues which are compulsory for all students attending a Catholic school in New Zealand. These fees are invoiced separately through the Archdiocese.

You can find out more information about the Donations Scheme here:

Naku te rourou nau te rourou ka ora ai te iwi

With your basket and my basket the people will live

Nga mihi

Emma Richards

Board Chair

St Catherine’s College

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