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1338.1 - NSW State and Regional Indicators, June 2009  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 21/07/2009   
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EDUCATION AND TRAINING


INTRODUCTION

Educational opportunities and attainment contribute positively to employment and community outcomes. Education is received through three formal sectors - schooling, vocational education and training, and higher education. Non-formal education also takes place outside of these institutions and is a life-long process; for example, on-the-job training in the workplace and self-directed learning.


EDUCATION IN NSW

In NSW in 2008, there were 1.1 million full-time school students. Of these, 617,600 were primary school students and 491,000 were secondary school students. The overall apparent retention rate of all full-time students from year 7 to year 12 was 70%. The retention rate was higher amongst females (75%) than males (65%), and amongst non-government schools (78%) as compared to government schools (65%).

In NSW in 2008, 66% of all full-time students students attended government schools while 34% attended non-government schools. The Blacktown Local Government Area (LGA) had the largest number of full-time equivalent student enrolments in both government and non-government schools (34,400 and 19,600 respectively) while Fairfield (24,700) and Sutherland Shire (24,600) had the next highest government school enrolments and Penrith (12,600) and Liverpool (12,300) had the next highest non-government school enrolments.


INDIGENOUS PEOPLE IN EDUCATION

Of the 1.1 million full-time school students enrolled in NSW in 2008, 44,600 (4.0%) identified as Indigenous. The retention rate from year 7 to year 12 for Indigenous students in NSW in 2008 was 36%. The LGAs with the highest proportion of Indigenous enrolments in government schools were Brewarrina (97%), Central Darling (72%) and Coonamble (59%) while the highest proportion of Indigenous enrolments in non-government schools were Walgett (56%) and Bourke (45%).


LITERACY AND NUMERACY

In 2008, all students in Years 3, 5, 7 and 9 sat national literacy and numeracy tests for the first time. Prior to this, each state had a set of tests that were equivalised to national benchmarks. The most recent results available for NSW tests are for 2007, and are for years 3, 5 and 7 only. In 2007, the minimum NSW standards for literacy were not met by 8.5% of Year 3 students, 5.0% of Year 5 students, and 3.7% of Year 7 students.

The strength of the tests is that they highlight populations or regions that are doing less well. For both literacy and numeracy, there was a substantial gap between Indigenous achievement compared to the results for all students. The proportion of Indigenous students not meeting the NSW literacy benchmarks were considerably higher than for all students: 25% of Year 3 students, 17% of Year 5 students, and 13% of Year 7 students.

Basic numeracy benchmarks were not met by 8.5% of total Year 3 students, 6.5% of Year 5 students, and 6.6% of Year 7 students. For Indigenous students, numeracy benchmarks were not met by 22% of Year 3 students, 18% of Year 5 students, and 20% of Year 7 students.

GOVERNMENT SCHOOL STUDENTS NOT MEETING LITERACY BENCHMARKS, NSW-2007
Graph: 3.1 Government school students not meeting literacy benchmarks, NSW–2007


GOVERNMENT SCHOOL STUDENTS NOT MEETING NUMERACY BENCHMARKS, NSW-2007
Graph: 3.2 Government School Students Not Meeting Numeracy Benchmarks, NSW–2007


OVERSEAS HIGHER EDUCATION STUDENTS

There were 72,000 overseas students at NSW universities in 2007, comprising 22% of all higher education students. This represents an increase of 8.6% from 2006. Over half (52%) of overseas students were studying management and commerce, as compared to 29% among all students.


DATA SOURCES

ABS Survey of Education and Work

Adult Learning, Australia (cat. no. 4229.0)

Adult Literacy and Life Skills (cat. no. 4228.0)

Child Care, Australia (cat. no. 4402.0)

Department of Education, Science and Training, Students: Selected Higher Education Statistics

National Centre for Vocational Education Research, Australian Vocational Education and Training Statistics: Students and courses

National Centre for Vocational Education Research, National Apprentice and Trainee Collection

National Indigenous Preschool Census; National Preschool Census

NSW Department of Education and Training

NSW Department of Education and Training, Annual Report 2007

Schools, Australia (cat. no. 4221.0)


OTHER RELATED INFORMATION

National Assessment Program, Literacy and Numeracy, Summary Report 2008

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