4221.0 - Schools, Australia, 2015 Quality Declaration 
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 18/03/2016   
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COMMENTARY ON SCHOOL NUMBERS

In 2015, there were 9,404 schools in Australia, an increase of 15 on the 2014 figure. This increase was driven by the non-government sector with 15 more Catholic schools and 12 more Independent schools. In contrast, the number of schools in the government sector fell by 12. This is the first increase in total school numbers since 2005, when the figure was 9,623.


NUMBER OF SCHOOLS by type and affiliation, Australia, 2015
Graphs shows the number of Australian schools by type and affiliation in 2015

Across the states and territories, the major net changes in school numbers from 2014 to 2015 were:
New South Wales, down by 4
Victoria, up by 6
Queensland, up by 10, and
Western Australia, up by 8.
    NUMBER OF SCHOOLS by states and territories, difference 2014-2015
    Graphs shows the difference in the number of Australian schools by state and territory between 2014 and 2015

    There was a slight fall in the number of combined primary and secondary schools, from 1,325 in 2014 to 1,323 in 2015, following ten years of steady growth during which time the number of combined schools increased from the 1,164 recorded in 2005.

    Nationally, between 2014 and 2015:
    primary schools fell by 26,
    secondary schools increased by 30
    combined schools fell by 2, and
    special schools increased by 13.

    The reduction in the reported number of primary schools was partly driven by the transition of Year 7 from primary to secondary in Queensland and Western Australia in 2015, with Western Australia also being the main contributor to the increase in secondary schools.

    NUMBER OF SCHOOLS by type, Australia, 2005-2015
    Graphs shows the number of Australian schools by type each year from 2005 to 2015

    At the affiliation level, the largest movements in number of government schools occurred in New South Wales, with a fall of 14. In the Catholic sector, the number of schools increased by 5 in both New South Wales and Victoria. In the Independent sector, the number of schools increased by 6 in Queensland, and 5 in New South Wales.

    School size

    Between 2014 and 2015, the number of non-special schools with secondary enrolments exceeding 1,500 climbed from 78 to 108.

    At the national level, average enrolments for special and non-special schools rose marginally in both the government and non-government sectors; from 359 to 366 for government, and from 470 to 472 for non-government.

    Looking at average enrolments for primary and secondary levels of education, including those in combined schools, average primary enrolments fell from 286 to 283, while average secondary enrolments, including those in combined schools, grew from 559 to 584. The transition of Year 7 from primary to secondary in Queensland and Western Australia in 2015 resulted in shifts in the number of students across those levels and the consequential changes to the counts of each school type required to meet the changing need.

    AVERAGE SCHOOL SIZE (enrolment) by affiliation, Australia, 2010-2015
    Graph shows the average school size in Australia by affiliation from 2010 to 2015