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General FAQs

What is the Diocese of Ballarat Catholic Education Limited (DOBCEL)?

The Diocese of Ballarat Catholic Education Limited is a company limited by guarantee to manage and operate parish schools in the Diocese of Ballarat, including the employment of current and future staff at parish schools and the CEOB in the Diocese of Ballarat. Initially, DOBCEL will govern only a small number of schools.

Why has Diocese of Ballarat Catholic Education Limited been formed?

Late in 2017, after several years of discussion and discernment, Bishop Paul accepted a recommendation from the Governance Working Party of the Ballarat Diocesan Schools Advisory Council (BDSAC) to form a company limited by guarantee and hand over the management and operation of some parish schools to the company.

What will change about the running of parish schools?

Parish schools that are part of the new structure will now be governed by a diocesan company, Diocese of Ballarat Catholic Education Limited (DOBCEL) rather than by the Parish Priest on behalf of the parish. The principal and staff will be employed by the company. Education policy in the Diocese will now be set by DOBCEL rather than by the Ballarat Diocesan Schools Advisory Council (BDSAC). Everything else about the school will remain essentially the same.

What will the role of the Parish Priest or Administrator be?

The Parish Priest or Administrator will exercise his ministry by supporting the principal and staff of the schools as a continuing pastoral presence for all staff, students and families in the school as well as assisting the faith and spiritual development of members of the school community. Parish Priests and Administrators will continue to exercise these key responsibilities including celebrating Mass and providing for other liturgical celebrations.

How will the new model affect students and staff?

The ongoing partnership between parish, families and schools will continue. It will be important that the parish and school continue to work closely together to ensure the pastoral and spiritual needs of all students, families and staff are met.

What happens to the money our parish has raised for the school over the years?

Many parishes have made sacrifices to build and sustain their parish school. Schools which have transferred to the DOBCEL model will continue to benefit from these contributions for many years to come, making Catholic education possible for continuing generations.

What happens to the School property when the Transfer Agreement is signed?

The land will remain the property of the Parish held in trust by the Roman Catholic Trusts Corporation (RCTC).  The property will be recorded on the Company’s balance sheets as leasehold improvements and right-to-use assets.

Can ownership of the school transfer be reversed?

No. Any land purchased entirely from education funds will be held by the RCTC in the name of DOBCEL.

What about the loans and debts carried by our school?

The company, Diocese of Ballarat Catholic Education Limited (DOBCEL) will assume all liabilities and debts. Any debts will continue to be serviced from school income and loans.

Will the Parish Priest or Administrator and parish members still be able to visit the school?

It is essential that the priest continue his association with the school and to work with the principal and staff to sustain the school community. The priest and parishioners will continue to be an important part of the school community and to work with the principal and staff to ensure children and families understand that they are welcome members of the parish and able to access all the services of the parish.

What about the Parish Sacramental Program?

The Parish Sacramental Program will continue to be parish led and school supported.

How is the Catholic Education Office Ballarat (CEOB) involved?

The Director of Catholic Education is the Chief Executive Officer of the DOBCEL Board. Through the Director and through the professional services of CEOB the Board fulfils its governance responsibilities’.