CATHOLIC schools in the New England and North West have set up a fund to help families struggling with the drought to pay school fees.
The Catholic Schools Office (Diocese of Armidale) has set aside a $200,000 Drought School Fee Relief Fund, which will help waive the fees.
Director Chris Smyth said the aim of the initiative was easing the burdens on families impacted by drought.
”Our principals were indicating that parents were telling them stories that they were facing real finances challenges which is right across the diocese,” Mr Smyth said.
“It’s a system of 24 schools over a big region, and we think all of our schools are affected in some way – whether they are children of farmers, agricultural industries or local businesses.”
The Catholic Schools Office (Diocese of Armidale) demographic stretches across the New England and North West including Armidale, Guyra, Moree, Tenterfield and Wee Waa.
“So people can come in and indicate their situation, and then we can waive their school fees for 12-months and give them a bit of a leg up,” Mr Smyth said.
“Farmers are saying they can probably last until October [this year] but then it will really kick in so we are already budgeting for 2019.”
Schools will also subsidise students who need support to participate in excursions, retreats and sporting activities.