Welcome to the Catholic Schools Office Website

The Catholic Schools Office (CSO), is responsible for the leadership, efficient operation and management of systemic schools which educate more than 18,000 students in 45 Primary schools, 10 Secondary schools and one K-12 school in the Catholic Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle.


The CSO employs more than 1200 teachers and around 550 support staff. Our main focus is providing support for schools to ensure each student receives a quality education and has the opportunity to grow academically, spiritually, physically and emotionally.


Catholic schools seek to develop spirit, mind, body and character and to cultivate Gospel values that support lives filled with joy, endeavour and hope in the future. As a Catholic Schools Office, we model ourselves on the person of Jesus Christ as revealed in the Gospels and through the teachings of the Catholic Church. 

We invite you to look around our website, become familiar with the uniqueness of Catholic education, your local Catholic school, the many initiatives offered and why we believe Catholic education is the right choice to make.



We are in Week 1 of Term 1.

There are 62 days until the end of Term 1, 2015 (02/04/2015).

View Term Dates

Welcome Back

Tuesday 27 January 2015

A very warm welcome back to all members of our Catholic school communities after what has been, I trust, a restful holiday break.

Sadly, it is a sombre return for two of our school communities, All Saints College, St Mary’s and St Peter’s Campuses, following the tragic death of Year 12 student Shannen Riggien, in a car accident just over a week ago. Her death has been a harrowing blow to her family, her fellow students and the staffs of St Mary’s and St Peter’s where she had been a much loved member of the school communities. I am very grateful to the staff of St Mary’s who enabled the families of those involved in this tragedy, the Year 12 students and the staff of both schools to gather in prayerful support of each other.

As we extend our heartfelt condolences to Shannen’s family we pray that the remainder of 2015 will be devoid of such tragic events.

I am also aware of a number of staff in schools and the CSO who are or who have family members suffering serious ill health and our thoughts and prayers are with them at this time.

A very special welcome is extended to those who are joining the teaching service in the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle for the first time. I look forward to meeting you in the weeks ahead.

A special feature of this school year is the new St Aloysius Catholic Primary School which opens its doors to its pupils next Monday 2nd February. This state of the art school has been in the planning and construction phases for the last two years and we are delighted that our first new school in 30 years will make a significant contribution to Catholic Education in the diocese. I am indebted to Mrs Suzanne Fern, the Principal of St Aloysius, Mr Chris Quinn, Assistant Director of Schools and Facilities Officer, Mr Chris Myors who have been instrumental in the development of this exciting new educational experience.

I also extend a very warm welcome to Doug Garnett who is joining our diocese as Principal of St Paul’s Primary School, Rutherford. Doug is coming to us from the Diocese of Armidale where he was the Principal of St Francis Xavier’s Primary school in Gunnedah. We also welcome back to our diocese Jim Fitzgerald who will be the Principal of St Mary’s Primary School, Scone. Jim is a former Principal in our diocese and also in the Dioceses of Wagga Wagga, Hobart and Lismore.

I am delighted also to welcome two of our own staff who take on the role of Principal for the first time. Cheryl Henderson, previously Assistant Principal of Our Lady of Lourdes Primary School, Tarro has taken on the role of Principal of Our Lady of Lourdes and I wish her every success in that role. Michael Punch, previously Assistant Principal of St Michael’s Nelson Bay has been appointed as Principal of St Peter’s Primary School, Stockton. We welcome Michael to this important role.

Michael Blake, Principal of St Peter’s Maitland will be, for 2015, the Principal of St Catherine’s Catholic College K-12, Singleton following the appointment of Brian Lacey as the new Head of Religious Education and Spirituality in the Catholic Schools Office. Brian’s appointment followed the resignation in early December of Michael O’Brien and the subsequent advertising, interviewing and selection process left insufficient time for the appointment of a new principal to replace Brian and. I am grateful to Michael for generously agreeing to my request to take on this role for 2015.

On 10th February we will gather as a Catholic School Community for the annual Called to Serve Mass in Sacred Heart Cathedral where we will be commissioned by Bishop Bill to continue our service to our students and their families.

As part of the Mass we will present the 25 Year Awards and the Monsignor Coolahan Awards for excellence.

I look forward to joining you that night.

Have a great year.

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Learn more about the newest Catholic school in the region as we head towards 2015!

What's On



Full day - Child Protection Training

9:00 AM

Saint Laurence Centre, 137 Broadmeadow Road Broadmeadow



Full day - Child Protection Training

9:00 AM

Corkoran Centre, Crn James & George Streets, Morpeth



End of Term 1, 2015

02 April 2015



Start of Term 2, 2015

20 April 2015



Full day - Child Protection Training

9:00 AM

St Claire's High School, Davis Street, Taree