NAPLAN 2022: Low fee Catholic, independent schools with great academic results
28 Feb 2023
Parents are fast figuring out they don’t need to fork out $40,000 for a grade-A education, and are overwhelmingly rejecting free schooling for their kids as the number of high-performing, low-fee Catholic and independent options grows.
Enrolments in Catholic schools in low-socio-economic parts of Western Sydney have increased, up by 27 per cent in Liverpool and 10 per cent in Blacktown since 2017.
Meanwhile enrolments in NSW’s public schools declined for the second year in a row, the latest Australian Bureau of Statistics figured show.
Catholic Schools NSW CEO Dallas McInerney has “no doubt” the sector is offering parents who would otherwise enrol in the local primary school better bang for their buck.
More than two-thirds of secondary and combined systemic Catholic school charge less than $5,000 per annum, while more than half of the sector’s primary schools cost less than $2,000 a year.
“We’re the best value education option in Australia, no doubt about it. For the fee-paying sector, we’ve got the lowest fees and the best results,” Mr McInerney said.
“Cost of living is going up, economic times are more uncertain, however the free schooling option is going falling through the floor.
“Parents are looking for quality … (and) money will always go where the quality is.”
St Ursula’s College is ranked number 100 for last year’s Year 9 NAPLAN exams, putting the all-girls school in the top tier despite its relatively low $3631 per annum tuition fee.
Principal Mary Leask said she was “happy” with the results, but teachers “are already talking about how we can make them better”.
“Parents who send their daughters here want (them) to be not only cared for, but really nurtured and stretched,” Mrs Leask said.
|Best value Sydney private schools based on NAPLAN|
|Al-Faisal College (Auburn)||$2745 – ranked 25th|
|Al Noori Muslim School||$2850 – 27th|
|Montgrove College||$3510 - 49th|
|St Clare's College||$2923 – ranked 78th|
|St Ursula’s College||$3631 – ranked 100th|
|Wollemi College||$3510 - ranked 114th|
|Brigidine College Randwick||$2818 – ranked 124th|
|The Athena School||$3220 – ranked 127th|
|Marist Catholic College Penshurst||$3894 - ranked 140th|
|Catherine McAuley Westmead||$5757 – ranked 153rd|
|Domremy Catholic College||$3778 – ranked 165th|
|St Patrick's Marist College||$5958 – ranked 169th|
“We have a wide range of parent capacity to pay fees, some who are unable to pay any fees and some who say to us, ‘is that all you’re charging?’”
Even in the independent sector, the elite sandstone institutions aren’t the only ones with long waiting lists, with combined and secondary schools like Montgrove College, Al Noori Muslim School and Al-Faisal charging less than $5,000/year for senior students while ranking in the top 50 schools.
Association of Independent Schools NSW CEO Margery Evans confirmed mid to low-fee schools in her sector are seeing the greatest growth, providing “an excellent education for an affordable cost”.
“The difference is, they really pay attention to what parents and students want. If parents and students are paying fees … schools really have to pay attention to what it is that attracts them,” she said.
Not every private school is offering brilliant value for money however: secondary boys’ school St Joseph’s College at Hunters Hill ranks among those offering the least value for money based on NAPLAN data, charging a minimum of $39,075 per annum but ranked 185th overall – putting students in the bottom 77 per cent of the 807 schools for which scores were available.
Fellow all-boys school Waverley College in Sydney’s east, which is slightly cheaper at $17,955 – $22,555 per annum, similarly ranks 181st and has a history of below average scores according to the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority’s (ACARA) metrics.
Waverley’s deputy principal Mrs Elizabeth Watson said the school uses a different tool, the Statistically Similar School Groups, to compare their results with other boys’ schools in the state.
|Lowest value for money Sydney private schools - Secondary|
|St Joseph’s College at Hunters Hill||$39,075 - ranked 185th|
|Wollondilly Anglican College||$8220 - ranked 289th|
|Toongabbie Christian College||$7845 - ranked 240th|
|Lowest value for money Sydney private schools - Primary|
|Wycliffe Christian School||$6850 - ranked 1305th|
|Korowal School||$5891.60 - ranked 1792th|
“After analysing our NAPLAN writing data in 2019, we launched a whole school initiative to improve our students’ writing skills … (and) as a result our 2022 NAPLAN scores have us sitting above the SSSG boys’ average in Years 5, 7 and 9,” she said.
“Last year, we reviewed our 2022 data and identified inferential reading as an area where students required further development and have launched a school wide inferential reading strategy to address this need.”
Irfan College in Sydney’s south west experienced a slight drop in their performance in last year’s exams, owing in part to the impact of Covid, but the $2253 per year K-11 Islamic school has seen its students’ performance progressively improve year on year.
Primary Curriculum Coordinator Ms Semra Abali said it was important to provide a high quality Muslim education option in the Fairfield area at a “quite affordable” price.
“We are a lot different to some of these private schools that are charging quite a large amount. The idea is that even if you do come from a background of English as a second language, these parents … are still able to afford sending their kids to our school,” Ms Abali said.
10-year-old Mikail Yalcinkaya said the school makes him “feel safe and happy”. Seven-year-old Zakaria Zakaria said he loves how “fun” the school is: “The teachers help you a lot”
09 Dec 2023
🌟Look at those smiles of joy. 😀And no, we're not talking about the students! This is Christmas cheer at its best as the Kindy students from St Monica's North Parramatta visited the residents of Courtlands Aged Care recently 🎄😇 The heartwarming pics of the little ones playing games and sharing morning tea with the residents reminds us of the true spirit of Christmas ✨❤️ @stmonicasparra #cspd2023 #catholicschoolsparramattadiocese #parracatholic #westernsydney #bluemountainsnsw #penrith #blacktown #parramatta #kenthurst #hawkesbury #christmas
08 Dec 2023
From School Captain to Rhodes Scholar!👩🎓 Former Catherine McAuley Westmead student Annalise Awkar from the Class of 2016 is one of just nine Australian scholars selected by the NSW Selection Committee for the oldest and most celebrated international fellowship award in the world! 🙌 Chaired by Her Excellency the Honourable Margaret Beazley AC KC, Governor of NSW, scholars are chosen based on their exceptional intellect, character, leadership and commitment to service.😇 Such an amazing achievement for Annalise and a great role model for her peers! Read the article at the link in our bio. #cspd2023 #catholicschoolsparramattadiocese #parracatholic #westernsydney #bluemountainsnsw #penrith #blacktown #parramatta #hawkesbury #education @catherinemcauleywestmead #westmead #rhodesscholar
07 Dec 2023
🎄When the school Christmas concert turns into a teacher dance off!!!💃🕺 SO MUCH FUN was had by ALL at Our Lady of the Rosary, St Marys 🤣 Just listen to the laughter and see the joy on the faces of the OLOR community at the end. 👏😀 🌟🎄Santa hats off to the fantastic choreography that brought this to life! 🌟🕺💃
07 Dec 2023
🎄It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas in our schools!⛄️ We love seeing students bringing the festive spirit into their learning and into their social outreach 🙏🎁. Get ready because there are SO many more wonderful Christmas pics to share!! 🎅 #cspd2023 #catholicschoolsparramattadiocese #parracatholic #westernsydney #bluemountainsnsw #penrith #blacktown #parramatta #plumpton #kenthurst #hawkesbury #christmas @mariancatholiccollege @chisholmcp
06 Dec 2023
🎉This is such an outstanding commendation for CathWest Innovation College from Edmond Atalla MP, State Member for Mount Druitt who recently attended the school for the Blacktown Chamber of Commerce meeting.🙌👏 "CathWest Innovation College is a true model of educational excellence, offering our youth the skills, knowledge and opportunities they need to succeed. Its commitment to innovation and student success is a source of pride for our community."
06 Dec 2023
🎉This is such an outstanding commendation for CathWest Innovation College from Edmond Atalla MP, State Member for Mount Druitt who recently attended the school for the Blacktown Chamber of Commerce meeting. 🙌👏 #cspd2023 #catholicschoolsparramattadiocese #parracatholic #westernsydney #bluemountainsnsw #parramatta #hawkesbury #emuplains #penrith #education #blacktown #learning @cathwestinnovation
05 Dec 2023
🎄It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas in our schools!⛄️ We love seeing students bringing the festive spirit into their learning and into their social outreach 🙏🎁. Get ready because there are SO many more wonderful Christmas pics to share!! 🎅 Good Shepherd Plumpton Chisholm Catholic Primary Marian Catholic College Kenthurst
04 Dec 2023
Today marks the official start of Advent 🙏. So lovely to see our students have already begun their reflections of what this time means as we approach Christmas. 😇Advent season is a time of preparation for our hearts and minds before we celebrate Jesus being born into the world.🙏 🌟 #cspd2023 #catholicschoolsparramattadiocese #parracatholic #westernsydney #bluemountainsnsw #penrith #blacktown #parramatta #hawkesbury @stpatricksprimaryguildford
03 Dec 2023
Today marks the official start of Advent 🙏. So lovely to see our students have already begun their reflections of what this time means as we approach Christmas. 😇Advent season is a time of preparation for our hearts and minds before we celebrate Jesus being born into the world.🙏 🌟 St Patrick's Guildford Mary Immaculate Primary School St Thomas Aquinas Celebrates
03 Dec 2023
☘️ Love this picture and story featured in Catholic Outlook celebrating the contribution of our dear friend Sr Brenda Kennedy as she prepares to move back to Ireland! Sr Brenda has served our Catholic schools for more than 40 years and has truly made some life-long friendships along the way. 🙏❤ ☘️Go mbeannaí Dia thú i gcónaí (May God bless you always)☘️ ===> Read the full story in Catholic Outlook at the link in our bio #cspd2023 #catholicschoolsparramattadiocese #parracatholic #westernsydney #bluemountainsnsw #parramatta #hawkesbury #ourteachersmakethedifference @parracatholic
02 Dec 2023
Students were BUBBLING over with excitement at St Oliver's Primary Harris Park as they took part in their end of year celebration day!🎉 Can you guess the theme?! Bubble soccer.. bubble art.. bubble disco.. bubble blowing It was a BUBBLING success! Learn more about this great local school that's just bubbling with a joy for learning: https://www.stoliversharrispark.catholic.edu.au/
02 Dec 2023
ROCK ON!!🧑🎤👩🎤It was an epic performance by all of our students at the CAPTIVATE Battle of the Bands festival held recently.🎸🎸😎 Over 100 talented musicians from so many of our secondary schools came together for this music extravaganza! Special congratulations to overall winner on the day, Emmaus. Emmaus also won the Rock Section alongside Marian College while St John XXIII was Highly Commended. In the Pop Section, Patrician Brothers took home the top prize with Parramatta Marist Senior pop ensemble High Commended. A huge congratulations to all involved including: Marian Catholic College Kenthurst, St Columba's Catholic College, Springwood, Penola Catholic College Emu Plains, St John XXIII Catholic College, Emmaus Catholic College Kemps Creek, Catherine McAuley Westmead, Parramatta Marist High and Patrician Brothers' College, Blacktown. A big thank you to CAPTIVATE's Michelle Loevendie, Francoise Marrier D'Unienville and David Russell for organising the rocking event.🎼🎹🥁 #cspd2023 #catholicschoolsparramattadiocese #parracatholic #westernsydney #bluemountainsnsw #parramatta #hawkesbury #dance #performingarts @mariancatholiccollege @patsblacktown @emmauscspd @catherinemcauleywestmead @penolaemuplains @columbasdoves @stjohnxxiiicatholiccollege