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1308.8 - In fACT - Statistical Information on the ACT and Region, Dec 2010  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 06/12/2010   
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Contents >> People >> Education

EDUCATION

Introduction

Schools

School students

Apparent retention rates

Student/Teaching staff ratio

Vocational Education and Training

Higher education

National Assessment Program on Literacy and Numeracy


Introduction

The Australian Capital Territory (ACT) school system consists of primary school (K-6), high school (years 7-10) and college (years 11 and 12), which can be followed by university and technical and further education (TAFE) institutes.

Statistics about education in the ACT are obtained from a number of sources. Data are provided by the ACT Department of Education and Training (twice yearly census of all government and non-government preschool, primary and secondary schools), the Commonwealth Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (DEEWR) and the National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER). This section focuses on schools, higher education and vocational education and training in the ACT.

Key information about the education sector in the ACT:

  • By comparison with Australia, education contributes more to the ACT local economy. On a proportional basis, the education industry contributed 5% ($1.2m) of the ACT's gross state product in 2008-09, compared to 4% of gross domestic product nationally ($48.7b).
  • In ACT schools, there were 65,412 students enrolled at February 2010: 35,980 in primary school level (including 4,606 in pre schools); 19,367 in high school level; 9,708 in college level; and 357 in special schools.
  • In vocational education and training, there were 26,488 students enrolled in 2009.
  • In higher education, there were 28,532 students enrolled in 2008.


Schools

There are currently 127 schools in the ACT, 83 government schools and 44 non-government schools. The number of government schools has declined by 13 since 2005, while the number of non-government schools have remained the same over the same period.

SCHOOLS, By Sector: ACT

Government
Non-government
Total

February 2005
96
44
140
February 2006
95
44
139
February 2007
88
44
132
February 2008
84
44
128
February 2009
83
44
127
February 2010
83
44
127

Source: ACT Department of Education and Training: ACT Schools Census, February 2007 and February 2010; Census of ACT Government Schools, February 2005 to February 2006; Census of ACT Non-Government Schools February 2005 to February 2006.


In February 2010, the majority of school students attended government schools. Enrolment in government schools was most pronounced in the primary school level where 60% of school students attended and 40% attended non-government schools. In the high school/college levels 54% of all students attended government schools at February 2010, while 46% attended non-government schools.


School Students

SCHOOL STUDENTS ENROLLED, By Sector and School Level: ACT

Preschool(a)
Primary school(b)
High school
College
Special school(c)
Total

Government
February 2006
3 369
19 033
10 095
6 013
322
38 832
February 2007
3 520
18 686
9 998
5 998
338
38 540
February 2008
3 772
18 467
9 816
5 848
327
38 230
February 2009
3 792
18 631
9 654
5 875
328
38 280
February 2010
4 021
18 812
9 722
5 941
357
38 853
Non-government
February 2006
-
11 815
9 342
3 522
-
24 679
February 2007
-
11 982
9 449
3 519
-
24 950
February 2008
-
12 265
9 482
3 636
-
25 383
February 2009
514
12 401
9 552
3 633
-
26 100
February 2010
585
12 562
9 645
3 767
-
26 559
Total
February 2006
3 369
30 848
19 437
9 535
322
63 511
February 2007
3 520
30 668
19 447
9 517
338
63 490
February 2008
3 772
30 732
19 298
9 484
327
63 613
February 2009
4 306
31 032
19 206
9 508
328
64 380
February 2010
4 606
31 374
19 367
9 708
357
65 412

- nil or rounded to zero (including null cells)
(a) Non-government preschool level data collected for the first time in 2009.
(b) Includes the Jervis Bay School.
(c) Only includes special students in special schools.
Source: ACT Department of Education and Training; ACT School Census, February 2007 to February 2010; Census of ACT Government Schools, February 2006; Census of ACT Government Preschools February 2006 to February 2007.


Excluding preschool students, school students enrolled in the government sector is 34,832 in 2010, up 344 students from 2009 but down 631 since 2006.

There has been an increase in student numbers for every year in the non-government sector (excluding preschool students) from 24,679 in 2006 to 25,974 in 2010 for an overall increase of 5% (or 1,295 students).


Apparent Retention Rates

Apparent retention rates measure the number of students in Year 12 as a percentage of their secondary schooling commencing cohort group (Year 7 for New South Wales, Victoria, Tasmania and the ACT and Year 8 for Queensland, South Australia, Western Australia and the Northern Territory). To calculate the rate, the total number of full-time students in Year 12 is divided by the number of full-time students in the base year. The resultant figure is converted to a percentage. Care should be exercised in the interpretation of these results, as this method of calculation does not take in to account a range of factors, including students repeating a year of education, migration and other net changes in the school population. In small jurisdictions such as Tasmania, Northern Territory and the ACT relatively small changes in student numbers can create apparently large movements in retention rates.

APPARENT RETENTION RATES(a), Full-time students - Year 7/8 to Year 12: 1999 and 2009
Graph: APPARENT RETENTION RATES(a), Full-time students—Year 7/8 to Year 12: 1999 and 2009


The ACT has historically exhibited higher than average apparent retention rates than Australia. The graph above shows the apparent retention rate declined by 6 percentage points between 1999 and 2009 for the ACT (from 93% to 87%). Comparatively, all other states and territories, as well as Australia, have exhibited steady or increasing apparent retention rates over the same time period. Factors which could explain this decline in the ACT include more students choosing vocational education as a means of completing secondary schooling, students moving interstate between Year 7/8 and Year 12, repeating a year of education and other net changes to the school population.


Student/Teaching Staff Ratio

The number of full-time equivalent (FTE) primary school teaching staff in the ACT increased by 11 FTE teachers over the period 2005 (2,077) to 2009 (2,088). Over that period, the FTE student for every FTE teaching staff remained steady at 15.0 FTE students. The FTE teaching staff in secondary schools increased by 25 from 2005 (2,323) to 2009 (2,348) with the FTE student for every FTE teaching staff decreasing slightly from 12.3 FTE students in 2005 to 12.2 in 2009. Comparatively for Australia in 2009, there were on average 15.8 FTE students for every FTE teaching staff in primary schools and 12.0 students for every teaching staff in secondary schools.

STUDENT/TEACHING STAFF, ACT

2005
2006
2007
2008
2009

Primary schools
Teaching staff(a) FTE
2 077
2 070
2 079
2 070
2 088
Student/teaching staff(b) ratio
15.0
15.0
14.8
14.9
15.0
Secondary schools
Teaching staff(a) FTE
2 323
2 329
2 289
2 291
2 348
Student/teaching staff(b) ratio
12.3
12.3
12.5
12.4
12.2

(a) This is a measure of the total level of teaching staff resources used. The FTE of a full-time teaching staff member (i.e. employed full time and engaged solely on activities which fall within the scope of this collection) is equal to 1.0.
(b) Number of full-time students plus full-time equivalent of part-time students divided by the number of full-time equivalent staff.
Source: Schools, Australia (cat. no. 4221.0).



Vocational Education and Training (VET)

In Australia VET providers are TAFE institutes, universities, secondary schools, industry organisations, private enterprises, agricultural colleges, community education providers and other government providers.

Between 2005 and 2009 the number of students enrolled in publicly-funded VET in the ACT increased by 15.3% from 22,964 students to 26,488. The ACT experienced an increase in VET student numbers of 7.3% between 2008 and 2009, whilst nationally there was an increase of 0.4% for the same period.

VET STUDENTS ENROLLED: ACT

2005
2006
2007
2008
2009

Males
11 079
11 333
11 610
12 147
13 641
Females
11 833
12 160
12 373
12 401
12 774
Persons(a)
22 964
23 582
23 985
24 684
26 488

(a) Includes sex not known or not stated.
Source: 2009 National VET Provider Collection.


The 15-19 year age group had the highest participation rate between 2005 and 2009 with an increase in the rate from 20% in 2005 to 23% in 2009. The age group with the second highest participation rate over the same period was the 20-24 year age group, 18% in 2005 and 20% in 2009.

VET STUDENTS, By major courses and field of education: ACT

2005
2006
2007
2008
2009

Natural and physical sciences
403
370
431
395
316
Information technology
1 532
1 275
1 219
1 323
1 691
Engineering and related technologies
2 709
2 959
2 771
2 915
3 054
Architecture and building
1 126
1 301
1 734
2 032
2 922
Agriculture, environment and related studies
924
716
670
730
731
Health
1 055
1 013
959
885
864
Education
746
711
928
782
778
Management and commerce
5 908
6 398
6 427
6 658
6 553
Society and culture
4 360
4 748
4 397
4 330
4 682
Creative arts
955
934
972
904
973
Food, hospitality and personal services
2 213
2 203
2 499
2 774
2 751
Mixed field programs
1 033
954
978
956
1 173
Total
22 964
23 582
23 985
24 684
26 488

Source: 2009 National VET Provider Collection.


The field of education with the highest number of students over the 2005 to 2009 period was Management and commerce, with 5,908 students in 2005 and 6,553 students in 2009, an increase of 11%. Society and culture had the second highest number of students with 4,306 students in 2005 and 4,682 students in 2009, an increase of 7%. Natural and physical sciences had the lowest number of students with 403 in 2005 and 316 in 2009. Architecture and building was the field that recorded the greatest percentage increase in student numbers between 2005 and 2009 (160%), followed by Food, hospitality and personal services (24%). Natural and physical sciences experienced the greatest percentage fall in student numbers between 2005 and 2009 with a decrease of 22%.


Higher Education

Higher education in the ACT includes the Australian National University (ANU), the University of Canberra (UC), and the Signadou campus of the Australian Catholic University (ACU).

Enrolments in higher education in the ACT have increased from 26,704 students in 2004 to 28,532 students in 2008, an overall increase of 7%. This was due to an increase of students undertaking a postgraduate higher degree (from 6,258 students in 2004 to 7,237 students in 2008).

In 2008 the ANU and UC accounted for 97% of the total tertiary students in the ACT. ANU had the highest proportion of undergraduate students (54%). The university with the highest number of non-award course students was ANU with 275 students.

STUDENTS ENROLLED IN HIGHER EDUCATION, By Course type: ACT

2004
2005
2006
2007
2008

Postgraduate
Higher degree
6 258
6 486
6 698
6 866
7 237
Other postgraduate
2 522
2 262
2 191
2 521
2 906
Undergraduate
Bachelor
17 330
17 249
16 636
16 732
17 236
Other undergraduate
78
69
85
204
357
Other
Enabling courses
22
19
16
13
350
Non-award courses
494
449
465
501
446
Total
26 704
26 534
26 091
26 837
28 532

Source: Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations, Student 2004 to 2008: Selected Higher Education Statistics; Australian Catholic University, unpublished data.


The proportion of higher education students in the ACT undertaking a full-time course ranged between 67% and 71% over the last five years. For the last four years, female students have comprised of 54% of enrolled students.

Full-time students comprised 70% of all students at ANU in 2008. ANU had the highest proportion of male students (49%), while the Signadou campus of the ACU had the highest proportion of female students (77%).

STUDENTS ENROLLED IN HIGHER EDUCATION, By full time/part time status and sex: ACT

2004
2005
2006
2007
2008

Attendance
Full time
17 876
18 713
17 899
18 329
19 070
Part time
8 828
7 821
8 192
8 508
9 462
Sex
Males
12 480
12 302
12 039
12 356
13 102
Females
14 224
14 232
14 052
14 481
15 430

Source: Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations, Student 2004 to 2008: Selected Higher Education Statistics; Australian Catholic University, unpublished data.


Overseas students accounted for 21% (or 6,015 students) of all higher education students enrolled in the ACT in 2008. ANU had the highest number of overseas students (3,683). ANU and UC both had a relatively even distribution of males and females among overseas students, with males in the ANU accounting for 54% of overseas students and in UC, 52%.

The proportion of onshore overseas students has increased from 73% of overseas students in 2004 to 87% in 2008. From 2004 to 2008, the number of offshore overseas students has decreased by 47%.

Enrolments in higher education by overseas male students have increased from 3,145 students in 2004 to 3,188 students in 2008, an overall increase of 1%. While enrolments in higher education by overseas female students have increased from 2,371 students in 2004 to 2,827 students in 2008, an overall increase of 19%.

OVERSEAS STUDENTS ENROLLED IN HIGHER EDUCATION, By sex and onshore/offshore status: ACT

2004
2005
2006
2007
2008

Males
3 145
3 123
3 057
3 046
3 188
Females
2 371
2 493
2 556
2 657
2 827
Persons
5 516
5 616
5 613
5 703
6 015
Onshore(a)
4 045
4 385
4 482
4 726
5 242
Offshore(b)
1 471
1 231
1 131
977
773

(a) Students undertaking programmes of study conducted in Australia by Australian universities.
(b) Students residing overseas for the term/semester who are undertaking programmes of study conducted by off-shore campuses of Australian universities.
Source: Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations, Students 2004 to 2008: Selected Higher Education Statistics; Australian Catholic University, unpublished data.

STUDENTS ENROLLED IN HIGHER EDUCATION, ACT
Graph: STUDENTS ENROLLED IN HIGHER EDUCATION, ACT



National Assessment Program on Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN)

National Assessment Program on Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN)

The Ministerial Council for Education, Early Childhood Development and Youth Affairs (MCEECDYA) conducts a NAPLAN each year. The NAPLAN tracks achievement in reading, writing, language conventions (grammar and spelling) and numeracy through administration of a standard test to all Australian students in Years 3, 5, 7 and 9. Student reports show what students know and can do, in the five areas tested, how they performed in relation to other students in the year group, and achievement against the national average and national minimum standard.

Some key ACT figures from the NAPLAN Summary Report for 2010 are as follows:

Reading

Of Year 3 ACT students, 96.1% were at or above the national minimum standard for reading, 2 percentage points higher than the national level.

Of Year 7 ACT students, the percentage was 97.2%, one of the highest percentages for all states and territories, and 2 percentage points higher than the national average.

Writing

Of Year 5 students, 94.9% were at or above the national minimum standard for writing, which was 1.8 percentage points above the national level.

Grammar and Punctuation

Of Year 9 students, the ACT had the highest percentage that were at or above the national minimum standard of all states and territories (93.5%), 2.7 percentage points above the national average.

Numeracy

Of Year 3 students, 97% were at or above the national minimum standard for numeracy, the highest percentages of all states and territories, and 2.8 percentage point higher than the national level.

Participation rate

The average participation rate across all year groups and all tests for the ACT was 95%.

For further information please see the MCEECDYA NAPLAN Summary Report, on the NAPLAN website.

The full report on the 2010 NAPLAN results will be released later this month.


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