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1368.1 - New South Wales Regional Statistics, 2007  
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 18/12/2007   
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DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION SCIENCE AND TRAINING, NON-GOVERNMENT SCHOOL CENSUS

INTRODUCTION

1 The Non-Government Census is conducted by the Department of Education, Science and Training (DEST). It is a census of non-government schools in Australia.

2 The Census provides statistics on non-government schools which are used to calculate annual grants entitlements and is used as part of the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) National Schools Statistics Collection.

3 The information is collected under the authority of the State Grants (primary and secondary assistance) Act 2000.

4 The Census collects information on staff and students from all non-government establishments which administer or provide primary, secondary and/or special education. The data provides a snapshot of the staffing and student numbers on Census day.

5 In this product, information is presented on NSW non-government school enrolments by sex, grade, Indigenous status and type of non-government school.

SCOPE

6 The scope of the Census is staff of, and students enrolled in, non-government schools in Australia on Census day.

7 An enrolled student is one who is officially enrolled or registered at a school and active in a primary, secondary or special education day program, and who attended on a daily basis. Students who were absent on the day of the Census, but whose absence is explained (e.g. illness, extended holiday, etc.) and remain enrolled, are in scope.

REFERENCE PERIOD

8 Data presented in this product relate to students enrolled at the time of the Census. The Census is conducted in the first Friday in August, in the third term of each school year. The data presented are for the calendar year 2006.

KEY DATA ITEMS

9 The following key data items are used in this product.

10 Affiliation: Religious affiliation is used to categorise the school or campus.

11 Full time equivalent students: The number of full time equivalent (FTE) students is calculated by the addition of full time student numbers with the full time equivalent of part time student numbers. The latter is calculated by dividing the part-time student's workload into what is considered to be a full-time workload for that State or Territory.

12 Indigenous status: Indigenous status is identified by the enrolment records of the students. Enrolment forms are completed by a parent or guardian. Provision of data is voluntary. An Indigenous student is a student of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander origin. Note that, historically, the way in which Indigenous status has been determined varies across states and territories. The accuracy of Indigenous numbers depend upon honest and rigorous reporting on enrolment forms and the perception (by students/parents/guardians) that such reporting does not disadvantage the student or family in any way.

13 Primary education: Primary education typically commences at around age 5 and lasts for 7 years. It does not include sessional education such as preschool education. In NSW, primary education extends from Kindergarten to Year 6.

14 Secondary education: Secondary education typically commences after completion of primary education, at around age 12 and lasts for 4 to 6 years. In NSW, secondary education extends from Year 7 to Year 12.

15 Special student: A student must meet all the following criteria to be classified as a Student with Disabilities (SWD):

  • the student must have an intellectual, sensory, physical or social/emotional impairment or multiple impairments;
  • the student must have been formally assessed as having the impairment by a person with relevant qualifications. Persons with relevant qualifications are persons such as medical practitioners/specialists, psychologists, social workers, members of the therapy professions, visiting teacher services or guidance officers in schools. Qualifications must be relevant to the impairment being assessed; and
  • the degree of impairment must be sufficient to satisfy the criteria for enrolment in government special education services or programmes in the State or Territory.

16 If the State or Territory government does not provide a special education service or programme for a particular impairment, or the impairment is not of sufficient severity to qualify the student for a government special education service or programme, the student cannot be included as a student with disabilities.

17 Students attending special schools are recorded according to age, not year level.

18 Ungraded students: Ungraded students cannot be allocated to a particular grade, even though they may attend a primary, secondary or combined primary/secondary school and may be associated with primary or secondary areas of education.

GEOGRAPHY

19 Data are geocoded to the Statistical Local Area (SLA) based on the geographic coordinates of the school address rather than student's residence. In this product, SLAs are aggregated to Local Government Areas (LGAs). The 2006 edition of the Australian Standard Geographical Classification (ASGC) (cat. no. 1216.0) was used in the coding.

COLLECTION METHODOLOGY

20 School Census data are submitted by each school using the DEST website. Extensive help information is available to school officials entering the data. A statutory declaration, signed by an appropriate officer, needs to be signed prior to the information being submitted.

21 The Census information, including the statutory declaration, is requested to be submitted by the following Friday after the Census date. For multi-campus schools, a separate form must be completed for each campus.

ACCURACY

22 After each Census, DEST conducts a Post Enumeration Exercise as a quality assurance measure. Auditors are sent to randomly selected schools to assess how accurately the forms were completed.

23 Indigenous status may be under reported on enrolment forms. The forms are completed by a parent or guardian who may not necessarily identify the Indigenous status of students. The level of under reporting is unknown.

24 As the data are coded to the location of the school, care should be taken in using the data in concert with other data sources that are based on the residence of students and families.

25 As this collection is a census, the data are not subject to sampling variability. However, other inaccuracies collectively referred to as non-sampling error may affect the data. These non-sampling errors may arise from a number of sources, including:
  • errors in the reporting of data by respondents;
  • errors in the capturing or processing of data;
  • estimation for missing or misreported data; and
  • definition and classification errors.

26 Due to the rounding of FTE data, totals are not always equal to the sum of the components.

COLLECTION HISTORY

27 The Census was first conducted in 1985 and has been conducted annually since then.

PUBLISHED DATA

28 Information from the Non-Government School Census, in addition to enrolments information from government schools for each State and Territory, is published by the ABS in Schools, Australia (cat. No. 4221.0). Data cubes are also available for each State and Territory.

RELATED WEB SITES

29 More information can be found at the Department of Education, Science and Training (DEST) web site: www.dest.gov.au.

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