Catholic Education has pledged funding to upgrade a small inner south school that was facing closure, restoring hopes that the school may stay open in the long-term.
Catholic Education director Ross Fox promised St Bede's Primary School would have some maintenance work done, including painting and new carpets in the junior classrooms, repairs to the roof and gutters and new heaters in corridors to the cost of $100,000.
Mr Fox also said in a letter to the school board that a business case for an early learning centre on the Red Hill campus would be completed by the end of this year while any fee increases would be in line with similar Catholic schools.
Parents and teachers at the school found out at Easter that the Catholic Education office was considering closing the school because running costs would outstrip revenue within three years.
Possible closure was flagged for the end of this year. However, the Archdiocese backtracked and promised to keep the primary school doors open at least to the end of 2023.
Mr Fox said the long-term future of the school depended on support from parents and strong enrolments next year.
"We're going to do everything we can to keep the school open but there's a financial reality we had to share with the community," he said.
Monica Kyburz, who has two children at the school, said morale among parents was really good compared to six weeks ago.
"People are feeling confident and safe that Catholic Education has made such commitments to St Bede's," Mrs Kyburz said.
"The school board is in the process of formulating a 10-year strategic plan. Catholic Education has welcomed it and I think it's a positive sign."
St Bede's principal Julie Douglas said the building work would be of great benefit in increasing enrolments to make the school viable.
"We've had concerns for quite some time with competition from schools around us because we're a 55-year-old-school," Mrs Douglas said.
"After the challenges of the beginning of the process we are now feeling very positive about the future."
Mrs Douglas, who will be retiring at the end of this year, said there was space on the school grounds for an early learning centre and that it would be a huge incentive for building enrolments.
Mrs Kyburz said St Bede's playgroup had started back up after a pause due to the pandemic and every session has been booked out, suggesting there is demand for an early learning centre.
Mr Fox said an early learning centre would most likely need more building work to accommodate it on site.
"We know the eight early learning centres we have are highly valued. We would love to have a system with high quality preschool program next to every primary school," he said.
Catholic Education told parents the future of the school was in doubt because it had a high direct measure of income under the new government funding scheme coupled with low enrolments.
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