1307.6 - Tasmanian State and Regional Indicators, Dec 2009
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 29/01/2010
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In August 2008, there were 277 schools in Tasmania, of which 210 (75.8%) were government schools and 67 (24.2%) were non-government schools. There were 169 (61.0%) primary only schools, 46 (16.6%) secondary only schools, 56 (20.2%) combined primary/secondary schools and 6 (2.2%) special schools.
The number of schools in a particular year can be affected by structural change in the composition of schooling rather than necessarily a change in the number of sites delivering full-time school education. That stated, over the ten-year period 1998-2008, the numbers and proportions of primary only and secondary only schools have remained steady. In 1998, there were 176 primary only schools in Tasmania representing 64.0% of all schools (not including special schools) and 47 secondary only schools (17.1%).
In August 2008, there were 81,591 full-time school students in Tasmania. From 1998 to 2008, the number of full-time students attending government schools fell by 7.5% (from 62,978 to 58,280), while the number attending non-government schools increased by 10.3% (from 21,138 to 23,311).
In August 2008, 54.9% of all full-time school students in Tasmania were attending primary schools (44,770); 45.1% were attending secondary schools (36,821).
In August 2008, apart from the Northern Territory (NT), Tasmania had the lowest proportion of full-time students attending non-government schools (28.6%). By contrast, the state or territory with the highest proportion was the Australian Capital Territory with 42.5%.
There were 1,546 part-time school students in Tasmania in August 2008, a significant decrease (42.8%) on the numbers in 1998 (2,701). There were 5,017 indigenous full-time school students, a significant increase (22.1%) on the numbers in 1998 (4,108).
HIGHER EDUCATION STUDENTS
In 2007, there were 19,531 higher education students in Tasmania. Of these, 53.7% were female, 73.4% were undertaking a bachelor degree and 17.6% were undertaking postgraduate study. The most popular field of education study by Tasmanian higher education students in 2006 was 'society and culture' (22.3% of all students) followed by 'management and commerce' (18.8%).
AGE PARTICIPATION RATES
The school age participation rate indicates the proportion of the resident population who are at school. Occasionally, a participation rate can exceed 100%, mainly due to the enrolment of students in schools who are not residents of that state. The age participation rates for full-time Tasmanian school students in August 2008 were 99.8% for 14 year olds, 99.7% for 15 year olds, 86.3% for 16 year olds and 60.6% for 17 year olds.
Tasmania's participation rate for 17 year olds exceeded that of Western Australia (41.4%), the NT (5.2%) and Queensland (47.1%).
APPARENT RETENTION RATES
The apparent retention rate is the number of school students in a designated level/year of education expressed as a percentage of their respective cohort group. To calculate the apparent retention rate of full-time secondary school students in Tasmania, the total of full-time students in Year 12 in August 2008 is divided by the number of full-time students that were in Year 7 in 2003. The resultant figure is converted to a percentage. Care should be taken in interpreting apparent retention rates as the method of calculation does not take into account a range of factors. Please refer to paragraphs 20 and 22 of the explanatory notes in Schools, Australia, 2008 (ABS cat no. 4221.0).
In August 2008, the apparent retention rate of full-time Tasmanian students from Year 7/8 to Year 12 was 64.8%, compared to 62.1% in 1998. The apparent retention rate for females in 2008 was 71.1% and for males 58.9%.
In recent years, apparent retention rates for students in non-government schools have exceeded those for students in government schools. In August 2008, the apparent retention rate of full-time Tasmanian students from Year 10 to Year 12 was 71.8% for those in non-government schools, compared to 61.8% for those in government schools.
STUDENTS ACHIEVING BENCHMARK
In March 1997, all state, territory and commonwealth education ministers agreed on the national goal: that every child leaving primary school should be numerate and able to read, write and spell at an appropriate level. The Ministerial Council for Education, Early Childhood Development and Youth Affairs (MCEECDYA) publishes national reports which include the results of testing conducted to identify the achievement of students in each of Years 3, 5, 7 and 9 as measured against national benchmarks for reading, writing and numeracy.
In general, the results for Tasmania for 2008 show that the large majority of Years 3, 5, 7 and 9 students are achieving at the benchmark level or better in reading, writing and numeracy. The highest percentage results for Tasmania were gained by Year 3 students for writing and numeracy where this cohort saw a respective 97.1% and 96.7% of students achieving at the benchmark level or better; the lowest percentage results were gained by Year 9 for writing (84.1%) and Year 5 for reading (89.7%).
Across all categories and years except one, Tasmanian female school students achieved better benchmark results than equivalent male school students. The one exception was for Year 9 numeracy where 92.6% of males achieved the benchmark or better compared to 92.0% for females.
There were 6,973 teaching staff in Tasmania in August 2008. Of these, 4,921 were female and 2,052 were male.
There were 5,816 full-time equivalent (FTE) teaching staff in Tasmania in August 2008. Of these, 4,122 were at government schools and 1,694 were at non-government schools; 2,976 were at secondary schools and 2,840 were at primary schools; and 3,952 were female and 1,864 were male.
The proportion of Tasmanian FTE female teaching staff has continued to rise, albeit slowly, since 1998. Conversely, the proportion of male staff has fallen. In August 2008, 67.9% of all Tasmanian FTE teachers were female; this compared to 65.2% in 1998. In August 2008, 32.1% of all Tasmanian FTE teachers were male; this compared to 34.8% in 1998.
Tasmanian primary schools have significantly more female teachers than male teachers. In August 2008, 80.0% of all FTE teachers in primary schools were female compared to 56.5% in secondary schools. The comparable figures in 1998 were 78.8% and 52.2% respectively.
Overall, in August 2008, the average number of FTE Tasmanian primary school students per FTE teacher was 15.8. In government primary schools the average was 15.5; in non-government primary schools it was 16.5. The equivalent figures for secondary schools were 12.7 students, with an average of 13.0 in government secondary schools and 11.9 in non-government secondary schools.
Ministerial Council for Education, Early Childhood Development and Youth Affairs (MCEECDYA)
Schools, Australia (ABS cat no. 4221.0)
Further information can also be found on the Education and Training Statistics Theme Page of the ABS website.
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