What Makes A Good School?

"What makes a good school?"...

"What makes a good school?"...

A commonly asked question! 

While each school has a culture, character and offerings particular to its context, the following is a summary of the characteristics which underpin Catholic schools.


Education in Faith

Our schools exist to offer families an opportunity to experience community life in a faith filled environment. They invite each student to find God, meaning and value in life through prayer, liturgy and celebration. Working in partnership with parishes, Catholic schools support families in their role as the first educators in faith.
Dynamic religious education programs offer participation in the life of the Church through prayer, sacramental celebration, and an appreciation of the Scriptures, Catholic tradition and recognition of the need for a more just society.


Leaders of Learning

Leaders in Catholic schools are required to be committed and practising members of the Catholic Church as leadership of a faith community is foremost in their role. It is expected that strong and effective leaders will work with their leadership teams to establish a culture of learning throughout the school.

Learning is central to the school’s purpose and there are high expectations set for students in their learning with the conviction that each student has the ability to learn and to achieve their potential with appropriate and sensitive teaching. The school recognises and affirms successful learning and high achievement. Details of curriculum offerings and specialist support programs are available at Learning and Student Wellbeing.



Like parents/carers, teachers and support staff have made a definite choice to join a Catholic school community. They have a record of commitment to their students and dedication to a vocation within a Catholic school.

Through regular professional learning within the Catholic system and in co operation with their colleagues in other systems, our teachers have thorough and up-to-date knowledge of how students learn at particular stages and within subject areas. Teachers aim to know their students well: their backgrounds, their interests, needs motivations and learning styles so that they can encourage each student to accept responsibility for their own learning and guide them in how to continue learning throughout life.


Safety – Child Protection

Every child has the right to be physically safe, free from abuse including bullying and harassment, and neglect.

Our schools are mandated child-safe environments where key elements of child protection include selection, screening and monitoring of all employees and volunteers working with children and young people, codes of conduct, specialist child protection training and responding to allegations of misconduct. For further information relating to Catholic Education’s policies, procedures and programs visit our Safety and Security page.

Pastoral Care for Every Student

Catholic schools strive to develop a sense of belonging and pride within their students by providing a physical and social setting that is safe, well organised and caring.

Students’ individual skills and talents are nurtured, while student achievement and self esteem are strongly promoted. Mutual respect and trust are seen as keys to developing a strong, positive culture.

Continuity and Diversity

Catholic schooling offers pathways for learning from Reception to the Senior Years of secondary schooling. Some schools have preschool centres located on their sites and several schools are currently developing early learning childcare services.

Within a diverse range of structures co-educational, boarding, primary, middle and secondary colleges, there is a clear pathway for students from the first days of school to graduation.

Catholic schools welcome students of all cultures, and celebrate the diversity of God’s gifts to individuals and communities.


Catholic schools have a commitment to support Catholic families who wish to access schooling for their children.

Family fee structures, eligibility for School Card and consideration of genuine need are all taken into account in establishing fee payments. Each school’s fees are determined by the governing body of the school following the guidelines within the South Australian Commission for Catholic Schools’ policies.


Parent/Carer and Community Involvement

Parents/carers are welcomed and encouraged to take an active role in the life of the school with opportunities ranging from assistance in the day to day work of the school through to representation on committees and governing bodies. Open communication between staff and parents/carers is encouraged.

Catholic School Parents SA supports parents/caregivers, children, families and schools to provide an active voice for families with children in South Australian Catholic schools.

First Class Facilities 
The labours of many religious and lay staff, the generosity of parents/carers, and government funding have equipped our schools to offer children an education to prepare for the future.

Our schools have an impressive array of facilities, including up to date technology, specialist areas for performing arts as well as sporting amenities.

Choosing a school is one of the most important decisions you make as a parent/carer or senior student and you’ll find that the research takes time and reflection. Depending on their location and size, some schools accept enrolment applications well ahead of the starting date so it’s wise to begin your search as early as possible.