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4221.0 - Schools, Australia, 2006  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 18/05/2007   
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NOTES ON DATA QUALITY OVER TIME

The structure of primary and secondary schooling in Australia varies between states and territories.

  • In NSW, Vic., Tas. and the ACT primary education comprises a Pre-Year 1 grade followed by Years 1 to 6. Secondary education comprises Years 7 to 12
  • In SA, WA and the NT primary education comprises a Pre-Year 1 grade followed by Years 1 to 7. Secondary education comprises Years 8 to 12.
  • In Qld primary education comprises Years 1 to 7 and secondary education, Years 8 to 12.

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 2006, this half cohort is in Year 4.

The WA Department of Education and Training 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 2006 has affected a number of series. It has, for example, contributed to a fall in apparent retention rates in WA when compared with earlier years.

From 2003 to 2006 a trial of full-time Pre-year 1 education was undertaken in Qld prior to the expected implementation of full stage coverage. In 2003, 833 students in 39 schools attended Pre-year 1, while in 2004, the trial had been expanded to 1,514 students in 67 schools. In 2006, 3,208 full-time students in 122 schools were included in the final year of the trial. These Pre-year 1 students are within the scope of the NSSC.

Full-time Equivalent (FTE) is the number of full-time students plus full-time equivalent of part-time students.

Prior to 2004, part-time students in Years 10 and 11 in the ACT are not shown separately, and are not included in the respective Australian totals. However, they are included in the ACT and Australian totals for Year 7/8 to 12.

NOTE: When generating a data view from this Supertable please be aware that (a) The full-time student data item already includes Indigenous students and they do not need to be aggregated with the separately identified Indigenous numbers. (b) Totals from these data views can be verified against the publication 'Schools, Australia, 2006' (Catalogue. No. 4221.0), or against the Data Cubes (Tables 1-25) associated with this publication.

Full-time equivalent (FTE) teaching staff is a measure of the total level of teaching staff resources used. The FTE of a full-time teaching staff member is equal to 1.0.
The calculation of FTE for part-time teaching staff is as follows:
  • The FTE of part-time teaching staff performing some activities which fall outside the scope of this collection (e.g. preschool or TAFE) is calculated on the basis of the proportion of time spent on in-scope activities compared with that spent by a full-time teaching staff member solely occupied by in-scope activities.
  • The FTE of part-time teaching staff performing activities which fall solely within the scope of this collection is calculated on the basis of time worked compared with that worked by full-time teaching staff performing similar duties.

Some states and territories are not able to calculate FTE on a time-spent basis for all teaching staff functions but use wages paid as a fraction of full-time rate, or a resource allocation based formula. Some also use a pro rata formula based on student or teacher numbers to estimate aggregate FTE for some categories of teaching staff.

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