Bishop Manning Support Fund
APPLICATIONS ARE NOW OPEN FOR 2023 ENROLMENTS
The Bishop Manning Support Fund provides full or part bursaries to assist families in genuine need who desire a Catholic school education for their children, but for whom the cost is out of reach.
The aim of this educational initiative is to help ensure Catholic education is accessible to all families.
Donations will help cover the cost of school fees, excursions and a uniform allowance for students in need of financial assistance. Funds are granted equitably based on genuine need and the number of bursaries available is limited by public donations received.
The Support Fund is managed by a committee of parish and Catholic Education representatives. Administrative support is provided by Catholic Education Diocese of Parramatta.
The closing date for support applications for 2023 is 14 October 2022
Apply for Support
Support Fund applications need to be submitted through the local Parramatta Diocese Catholic school at which you wish to enrol your child. A school enrolment form needs to be completed at the same time so the school may determine if it can properly accommodate your child if support is granted.
Applications are considered on a quarterly basis by the Support Fund and normal school enrolment criteria apply.
Can you make a donation?
Ensure our children’s future
Your support will enable this educational initiative to continue in our local communities and assist us in our mission of providing Catholic Education in the Diocese of Parramatta. A donation is an investment in our children's future.
Applying for Support
Where can the application forms be obtained?
- Support Fund application forms can be obtained from:
- your local Diocesan school; or
- by downloading the Support Fund Application Pack
- School Application and Enrolment forms need to be obtained from the Diocesan school at which you wish to enrol you child.
How does a family lodge an application for a bursary?
Applications for bursaries must be lodged through the Parramatta Diocese school at which you wish to enrol your child. A school enrolment form needs to be completed at the same time so that the school may determine that it can properly accommodate the child if a bursary were granted.
Can support funds be used at any school of choice?
No. The Fund provides fees support for use at Catholic systemic schools run by and within the Roman Catholic Diocese of Parramatta. The funds are not available for use at congregational schools within the Diocese or at schools outside of the Diocese of Parramatta. Normal enrolment criteria apply and usually this will mean attendance at the local school. Fees support is awarded for use at a particular school and is not transferable between schools.
Are existing students able to apply for support funds for their current school?
The money available for support funds is very limited. Consequently support is available to new students from families who cannot afford a Catholic faith-based education for their child and who would otherwise attend a State school. This decision was taken mindful of the safety net in the form of the Financial Hardship Policy for existing students from families in genuine financial need. This approach means that existing students in genuine need are cared for while opportunities are provided for other children to have a Catholic faith-based education that their parents could not normally afford.
Can a student at a Diocesan primary apply for support funds for secondary?
Yes. The normal application criteria and school enrolment criteria will apply. This means that under current policy children from families in genuine financial need may be considered for a support funds. If not awarded fees support because of limited funds they may be catered for at the secondary school under the Financial Hardship Policy.
Are support funds available on the basis of academic merit or sporting achievement?
No. The decision by the Trustees was to make support funds available to new students from families who cannot afford a Catholic faith-based education for their child and who would otherwise attend a State school.
Will reasons be given for support not being approved?
No. As the Support Fund depends on public donations, there are not always funds available to cover all applications received. It is the Fund's policy to not give reasons for applications not being approved.
Why is a statement of financial position from parents/guardians required?
As part of the assessment of genuine need of a family the Trustees must understand the financial position of the applicant family and be assured of a real need for assistance. A signed Statement of Financial Position, completed honestly and with proper documentary verification of income, is the most straightforward and objective way of doing this.
Awarding of bursaries
When were the first bursaries awarded?
The first bursaries were awarded during the latter part of 2008 for taking up at the commencement of the 2009 school year. This first round was directed to families in most need in the more disadvantaged areas of our Diocese.
How often are bursaries awarded?
The awarding of bursaries began on a regular basis during 2009. Provided that good levels of donations are received, we expect that new support funds will be awarded each year, usually for commencement at the beginning of the following school year.
How many bursaries are awarded?
This varies from year to year, as the number of support that can be provided depends upon the level of donations. The aim of the Fund is to help as many families in need as is reasonably possible using the funds available, while making provision for needs in future years.
What the fund covers and the payment of proceeds
Does support provided for primary continue through for secondary?
No. Separate support will be available for primary school and for secondary school. Combined primary/secondary bursaries are not contemplated at this stage. Near the end of primary school support, preferably at the time of enrolling the child at the secondary school, the parents of the relevant student will be able to apply for secondary school bursaries for their child.
What costs will the support fund cover?
The support fund will cover:
- the local school-based fees and school excursion costs; and
- for the first year of entry to the school, an allowance determined by the Fund of up to 50% of the average entry costs for essential school uniform, essential sports uniform and standard school bag.
The system of schools will absorb the Diocesan tuition fees and Diocesan building levy.
Will the family have to pay anything towards fees and excursions?
The family will be asked by the Principal to contribute a modest amount towards the cost of a Catholic education for their child. The contribution level can be worked out to suit the family's situation.
How are bursaries paid?
Bursaries are paid direct to the school for crediting to the school fees account of the student.
The initial uniform allowance that applies only to the first year of entry to a school under the bursary will be remitted to the school for the account of the student. The Principal will supervise uniform cost disbursements against proper receipts.
What are my options other than the support fund?
What can I do if my application is unsuccessful?
You can make an appointment with the local Catholic school principal to discuss your situation.
There are a range of options available to school principals to grant fee concessions and/or provide greater flexibility for payment, depending on a family's individual circumstances. There is an assessment process in place to help principals decide on the type of assistance needed.
I can’t afford Catholic schooling without the support fund. What can I do?
Families considering enrolment in our schools for the first time are encouraged to apply for enrolment, even if the fees are not affordable. There are a range of options available to school principals to grant fee concessions and/or provide greater flexibility for payment, depending on a family's individual circumstances.
Establishment of the fund
What is the support fund?
The Bishop Manning Support Fund is a charitable fund established in 2007 by Catholic Education Diocese of Parramatta to receive tax-deductible donations to provide bursaries at schools operated by the Diocese.
The Fund was established to:
- receive donations for educational purposes, with unconditional donations being a tax deduction for donors; and
- use those donations to provide financial assistance for the poorer families in our community who would like a Catholic education for their children, but for whom the cost is out of reach.
How long has the support fund been operating?
The Support Fund was formed in the second half of 2007 and has been serving families most in need for over a decade.
Management of the fund
How is the fund managed?
A committee of parish, welfare, legal and education representatives (referred to as “The Trustees”) manages the Support Fund. The Fund Owner is the Roman Catholic Diocese of Parramatta. Catholic Education Diocese of Parramatta (CEDP) provides administrative support to the Trustees, but does not derive any financial benefit from the Fund. CEDP pays the administration and staffing expenses of the Fund. Independent auditors audit the Support Fund.
Where does the support fund get its money?
The Support Fund has been established to receive tax-deductible donations from the general public as well as from staff.
CEDP initially made a seed donation of $100,000 to help establish the fund.
There has also been a good response to approaches to suppliers for cash donations. It is important to the future of the Support Fund that we get a broad base of donors, so anything that you can do to promote donations to the Fund will be of great benefit and truly appreciated.
Are donations to the support fund tax-deductible?
Yes. The Bishop Manning Support Fund is endorsed by the Australian Taxation Office as a Deductible Gift Recipient so that donations of $2 and over are tax deductible when given unconditionally.
Do all donations go towards bursaries or are administration costs deducted?
All donations go towards bursaries. There are no deductions for administration costs. Administration costs such as advertising, printing, stationery, bank and audit fees, legal costs, technology and staff costs are kept to a minimum and are covered by CEDP.