Catholic school graduates more satisfied with life, enjoy higher earnings

Catholic school graduates enjoy higher levels of life satisfaction and earnings, new independent research has found – endorsing Catholic education’s emphasis on developing the whole student and rebutting critics of non-government schools.

The research, contained in the Curtin University report Does Private Schooling Pay?, finds that both men and women who attended who attended a Catholic school are report higher life satisfaction than those who attended government institutions, with some graduates of Catholic schools enjoying greater satisfaction than those who attended independent or government schools.

The report also cites ‘the social capital available to those from Catholic schools’.

The same paper finds ‘Australians who attended Catholic schools … enjoy an hourly wage premium of around 10 per cent … relative to those who went to a government school.’

The findings were welcomed by Catholic Education Melbourne Executive Director Stephen Elder, who said they added to a body of research endorsing the value of Catholic schools.

‘This study shows us Catholic education’s emphasis on developing the whole student – the mixture of faith and values and academic excellence – is working well,’ Mr Elder said.

‘It rebuts the claims of the critics of non-government schools that, after socioeconomic status is taken into account, Catholic and independent education fails to deliver stronger results.

‘Instead, the latest study adds to a range of research that shows the opposite is true – suggesting their attacks are motivated by ideology, rather than fact.

‘Work published last year by University of Melbourne researcher Gary Marks found a student completing Years 9 to 12 at a Victorian Catholic school will achieve a tertiary admissions rank, or ATAR score, six points higher than a comparable student at a government school.

‘And a 2013 Melbourne Institute paper indicated Catholic school graduates enjoyed an income premium similar to that in the latest study.

‘Victorian Catholic schools offer unique benefits, as parents recognise.

‘That is why we are entrusted with the education of more than 20 per cent of the state’s students, the highest level of any Catholic system in the country.’

Further information contact Christian Kerr, Media Adviser, on 03 9267 4411 or 0402 977 352. 

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