1 This publication contains statistics of government and non-government schools, students and staff as at August 2007.
2 These statistics were obtained from the National Schools Statistics Collection (NSSC) which is a collaborative arrangement between state, territory and Australian Government education authorities and the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). The NSSC uses a set of concepts, definitions and classifications developed jointly by these agencies.
SCOPE AND COVERAGE
3 The statistics in this publication relate to establishments which have, as their major activity, the administration and/or provision of full-time day primary, secondary or special education, or primary or secondary distance education. Major activity is based on the activity of students or, where this is not appropriate, for example in administrative offices, on the activity of staff. The statistics presented do not include establishments, students or staff engaged in school level education conducted by other institutions, in particular Technical and Further Education (TAFE) establishments.
4 Statistics for the government series relate to all establishments administered by the Department of Education under the Director-General of Education (or equivalent) in each state and territory, students attending those establishments, and all staff engaged in the administration or provision of government school education at those establishments. Statistics for the non-government series relate to all in-scope establishments not administered by the Department of Education in these states and territories.
5 Emergency and casual relief teaching staff employed on a casual basis are not included in this collection, as they replace permanent teaching staff absent for short periods of time. These permanent teaching staff are already counted in this collection.
6 Education services in Jervis Bay Territory are provided by the Australian Capital Territory Department of Education and Training, through Australian government funding. For the purposes of the NSSC, figures for Jervis Bay Territory are included in statistics for the ACT.
CHANGES IN SCOPE AND COVERAGE OVER TIME
7 The WA Department of Education and Training advised of two changes to the structure of WA schooling from 2002. Pre-year 1 was extended to five days a week, bringing these students within the scope of the NSSC. The other change was to the age at which children may commence Pre-year 1. Prior to 2002, children were eligible to attend Pre-year 1 in WA if they turned five any time during the year. In 2002, only those who had turned five by 30 June 2002 were eligible for Pre-year 1. This resulted in a half cohort entering the school system in 2002. In 2007 this half cohort is in Year 5.
8 The WA Department of Education and Training also advised that, from 2003, the majority of students in a small number of WA colleges are no longer in the scope of the NSSC and have been classified as belonging to the Vocational Education and Training sector. The removal of these students in 2003 to 2007 has affected a number of series.
9 The Qld Department of Education, Training and the Arts advised of a change to the structure of Qld schooling from 2007. A year of formal pre-year 1 schooling, called a Preparatory year, has been introduced in 2007 following successful trials over the previous four years. Initially only a half cohort has been enrolled in 2007, but full cohorts are expected to be catered for from 2008 onwards.
10 The census date for the collection, for all states and territories, is the first Friday in August each year. For 2007 this was 3 August. The age reference date was 1 July for all states and territories.
11 The statistics were compiled from collections conducted in cooperation with the Ministerial Council on Education, Employment, Training and Youth Affairs (MCEETYA), by the state and territory Departments of Education (government series), and the Australian Government Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (DEEWR) (non-government series).
12 The methodologies employed in compiling the government sector aggregates, on which the statistics in this publication are based, vary between the different state and territory Departments of Education. They range from accessing central administrative records to direct collection of data from establishments.
13 The Australian Government Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (DEEWR) collects data directly from establishments in the non-government sector for all states and territories. The non-government sector statistics in this publication are a summary of results from that collection.
INTERPRETATION OF RESULTS
14 In interpreting the figures in this publication, users should be aware that comparability of statistics between states and territories and between government and non-government schools in any one state or territory is affected by differences in the organisation of grades, policy on student intake and advancement, flows from secondary to vocational education, and the recruitment and employment of teachers.
15 There is no Australia-wide standard method of allocating students and classes to a certain year of school education (grade). A number of schools (other than special schools) do not maintain a formal grade structure. Students at these schools have been allocated to equivalent grades where possible, but otherwise appear against the ungraded category in either the primary or secondary level of school education.
16 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. For example, if several schools amalgamated into one large and complex multi-campus school or if a primary school and a secondary school combined into one school, the statistics would show a decrease in the number of schools.
17 This publication draws extensively on information provided freely by education organisations. Their continued cooperation is very much appreciated: without it, the wide range of education statistics published by the ABS would not be available. Information received by the ABS is treated in strict confidence as required by the Census and Statistics Act, 1905.
DATA AVAILABLE ON REQUEST
18 As well as the statistics included in this publication, the ABS has more detailed statistics from the NSSC available. These can be obtained from Data Cubes (in Excel or Supertable format) on the ABS web site at <URL:http//www.abs.gov.au>. For further assistance regarding schools statistics, please contact Leo Stinson on (02) 6252 7793.
RELATED PUBLICATIONS AND PRODUCTS
19 Other ABS publications which may be of interest to users are:
20 Education and Work, Australia (cat. no. 6227.0) - issued annually, latest issue May 2007 released on 18 December 2007.
21 Education and Training Experience, Australia (cat. no. 6278.0) - issued irregularly, latest issue 2005 released in May 2006.
22 Additional information can be found in publications produced by ABS offices in each state and territory, various publications of the Australian Government Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations, the Ministerial Council on Education, Employment, Training and Youth Affairs, the education chapter of the annual Report on Government Services, and in annual reports of the state and territory Departments of Education.
23 The ABS Year Book Australia (cat. no. 1301.0) and the State Year Books also contain commentary and data on education. The National Centre for Education and Training Statistics (NCETS) has a theme page on the ABS web site for the dissemination of information on education and training: <URL:/http//www.abs.gov.au/ncets/>.
24 Current publications and other products released by the ABS are listed in the Catalogue of Publications and Products (cat. no. 1101.0). The catalogue is available from any ABS office or the ABS web site <URL:/http//www.abs.gov.au>. The ABS also issues a daily Release Advice on the web site which details products to be released in the week ahead.