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4221.0 - Schools, Australia, 2008  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 17/03/2009   
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March 17, 2009

Embargoed: 11.30 am (AEDT) 12/2009

Indigenous Year 12 enrolments double since 1999: ABS

The number of Indigenous school students enrolled in Year 12 has doubled since 1999, according to detailed statistical data from the National Schools Census released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

In 2008, there were 4,779 Indigenous school students enrolled in Year 12, compared with 2,206 enrolled in 1999. Overall in 2008, 151,669 school students were identified as Indigenous, a 42% increase on the 1999 total of 106,628 students.

The apparent retention rate of Indigenous male students from Years 7/8 to Year 12 increased from 30% in 1998 to 43% in 2008, and for Indigenous females it increased from 35% to 50%. In contrast, for non-Indigenous male students the increase was from 67% to 70%, and from 79% to 82% among females.

In August 2008, Australia had 3,457,049 school students attending 9,562 schools, while in 1998 there were 3,224,127 students in 9,587 schools.

From 1998 to 2008, the number of full-time students attending government schools increased by 1% (from 2,239,375 to 2,264,554), while the number of students attending non-government schools grew by 22% (from 959,280 to 1,169,737). Part-time students numbered 22,758, and 35% were enrolled in Year 12.

In 2008, there was an average of 306 full-time student enrolments at each primary school (excluding special and combined schools), compared with 277 fulltime student enrolments per primary school in 1998. While the number of schools providing only primary education has fallen by 298 (4%) since 1998, the number of combined primary-secondary schools has increased by 278 (29%).

The 2008 annual snapshot also found:
  • An estimated 87% of male students aged 15 in 2007 continued on with school education in 2008, as did 91% of females. However among those aged 16 in 2007, 75% of males and 78% of females continued on at school in 2008.
  • In 2008, there was an average of 15.8 students per teacher (full-time equivalents) in primary schools, and 12.0 in secondary schools, which is a decline from the respective ratios in 1998 - 17.9 and 12.8.
  • Of the 279,688 teaching staff at August 2008, 71% were females, compared with 68% of the 230,815 teaching staff in 1998.
  • The number of FTE (full-time equivalent) male teachers at government schools declined between 1998 and 2008, but FTE male teacher numbers at non-government schools increased over the same period.


Further details are in Schools Australia, 2008 (cat. no. 4221.0).

FURTHER INFORMATION: Media requests and interviews
Dean Souter (02) 6252 5691; 0438 018 814
Kate Gilrane (02) 6252 6403; 0447 693 708
      Statistical clarification
      Leo Stinson (02) 6252 7793


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