After government schools, Catholic schools form the next largest school sector. Most Catholic schools belong to a system that attempts to provide Catholic education across the country to all Catholic students, regardless of their means. Such schools are sometimes called systemic schools. Systemic Catholic schools are funded mainly by the government, and most remain very accessible financially. There are also a substantial number of independent Catholic schools (often single-sex), which are usually run by established religious orders such as the Sisters of Mercy and the Christian Brothers. Independent Catholic schools’ fees vary from low to reasonably high, but fee concessions for Catholic families in financial difficulty are quite common.
Although bound by the same regulatory and curriculum frameworks as schools in other sectors, Catholic schools are also motivated by a Christian ethos and normally expect the majority of their students to be Catholic.
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