Maitland's Catholic schools are experiencing a 3.9 per cent increase in enrolments - some schools starting waiting lists for parents anxious to book their children a desk.
With the city's extraordinary population boom, student growth was anticipated by the Catholic Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle and plans locked plans in place more than 10 years ago.
All Catholic schools in the Maitland area are experiencing enrolment demand - Chisholm showing the strongest growth.
"Enrolment applications point to a 3.9% increase in enrolments from 2019 to 2020, at Catholic primary and secondary schools across the Maitland region," said Catholic Schools Office Maitland- Newcastle Acting Director Gerard Mowbray.
"There remains capacity to accept further admissions before the commencement of the 2020 school year."
NSW Department of Education could not comment on whether State school enrolments were up or down.
A spokesperson said State schools' starting enrolments for the year are confirmed on the start of year census day, usually around mid February. "Historically this has been the earliest schools have stability in their expected starting numbers," the spokesperson said. "The census helps determine schools' resourcing levels, including in regards to staffing."
It was more than 10 years ago that the Catholic diocese identified the Maitland Local Government Area and surrounding towns would experience a significant population increase. It developed a comprehensive primary and secondary plan to accommodate that growth.
Mr Mowbray said this plan included the establishment of two schools in Chisholm; St Aloysius Primary School, which has rapidly grown into a three-stream school and St Bede's Catholic College, both continue to experience expansion.
Mr Mowbray said the diocese committed to building programs to increase the capacity of existing primary schools in the region.
These include Rosary Park Primary, Branxton, St Patrick's Primary, Lochinvar and St John the Baptist Primary, Maitland.
This is supported by planning which has seen the diocese significantly increase its secondary capacity in the region by expanding St Joseph's College, Lochinvar offerings to include years 7 - 12, and the redevelopment of All Saints College, Maitland.
The diocese forecasts population growth in the region will continue and demands on its school network will continue to increase.
It is also proactively identifying and planning expansions to its current educational facilities.
Mr Mowbray said the diocese has 3500 teaching and support staff working in 59 Catholic schools, teaching more than 19,600 students.
"In 2021 we will open Catherine McCauley Catholic College, Medowie commencing with years 7 and 8," Mr Mowbray said.
"In 2018 we saw the opening of our newest school, St Bede's Catholic College, Chisholm, a comprehensive Year 7 to 12 school; 2019 witnessed our newest addition and 59th school, the St Laurence Flexible Learning Centre at Broadmeadow, where young people with some particular challenges have the opportunity to engage in education in this unique setting.
"In 2021 we will open Catherine McCauley Catholic College, Medowie commencing with years 7 and 8."
The Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle Catholic schools network is complemented by the increasing presence of St Nicholas Early Education centres in the region.
St Nicholas currently has centres operating in Chisholm and Lochinvar and next year; the diocese intends to open centres in Branxton, Maitland and Gillieston Heights.