SCHOOLS IN 2018
In 2018 there were 3,893,834 students enrolled in schools across Australia, representing an increase of 44,609 (1.2%) on the previous year’s figure.
Government schools’ share of student enrolments was 65.7% in 2018, similar to their share of 65.6% in 2017. Graph 1 shows the gradual changes in government and non-government enrolments over the twenty years to 2018.
Graph 1. Proportion of enrolments by affiliation, Australia, 1998 to 2018
The Australian Capital Territory had the highest rate of non-government school enrolments (39.1% of enrolments), followed by Victoria (36.2%). Northern Territory had the lowest rate at 26.9%.
Map 1. Student enrolment counts by state/territory and affiliation, 2018.
Australian Capital Territory and Victoria continued to report the highest annual growth rates of student enrolments in 2018, at 2.3% and 1.9% respectively. Australian Capital Territory and Victoria have led annual student growth rates since 2016.
The Northern Territory student population decreased by 2.4% in 2018, to report similar enrolment levels recorded in 2015.
Graph 2. Annual growth rates in student enrolments by state/territory, Australia, 2017 to 2018
In 2018, there were 221,982 students enrolled in Australian schools identifying as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander. This is 6,529 (3.0%) higher than the 2017 figure. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students made up 5.7% of all students, with the majority enrolled in government schools (83.9%).
Northern Territory had the highest proportion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students at 39.0%. The rest of the states and territories recorded Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander student enrolments closer to the national rate, ranging from 1.7% in Victoria to 9% in Tasmania.
Graph 3. Proportion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander student enrolments by state/territory, 2018
In 2018, there were 9,477 schools in Australia, an increase of 33 schools since 2017. This included an increase of 17 independent schools, 9 Catholic schools, and 7 government schools.
New South Wales reported the largest annual increase in total school counts (14 schools), followed by Queensland (8 schools) and Western Australia (6 schools).
Table 1. School counts by state/territory, 2017-2018
In 2018, there were 288,583 full-time equivalent (FTE) teaching staff in Australian schools, representing an increase of 6,524 FTE on the previous year’s figure. This increase in teaching staff was predominantly driven by increases in the government sector, which represented 64.3% of teaching staff in 2018.
Across Australia, the student to teaching staff ratio for all schools was 13.5 in 2018. This continues a slight 10 year downward trend, during which the student to teacher ratio for primary school fell from 15.8 in 2008 to 14.9 in 2018; while the ratio for secondary school remained relatively steady (moving from 12.0 in 2008 to 11.9 in 2018).