4221.0 - Schools, Australia, 2002  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 26/02/2003   
   Page tools: Print Print Page Print all pages in this productPrint All RSS Feed RSS Bookmark and Share Search this Product


In August 2002, there were 9,632 schools in Australia, of which 6,969 (72.4%) were government schools and 2,663 (27.6%) were non-government schools.

During the decade from 1992 to 2002 the total number of schools fell by 3.3%. Government school numbers declined by 6.4%, whereas the number of non-government schools rose by 6.1%.

The number of combined primary/secondary schools has grown from 837 in 1992 to 1,085 in 2002 (an increase of 29.6%), with combined schools now representing 11.3% of all schools.


In 2002 there were 3,301,776 full-time school students, 68.4% of whom attended government schools.

Over the period 1992 to 2002, the number of full-time students attending government schools grew by 1.0%, while the number attending non-government schools increased by 20.8%. Compared to 2001, the number of full-time students attending government schools in 2002 increased by 9,118 (0.4%), while non-government school student numbers increased by 24,517 or 2.4%.

There were 29,450 part-time school students in 2002, an increase of 3.6% since
2001, and 5.6% higher than in 1997. Tasmania (Tas.) had the highest proportion of part-time students (3.4%), followed by South Australia (SA) (3.0%) and the Northern Territory (NT) with 2.9%.

In 2002 there were 121,647 Indigenous full-time school students, a 5.4% increase over the number reported in 2001. Approximately 57% of Indigenous students attended schools in New South Wales (NSW) or Queensland (Qld).


At the Australian level, the age participation rates for full-time school students in 2002 were 92.5% for 15 year olds, 80.9% for 16 year olds and 62.3% for 17 year olds, the latter rising from 60.3% in 1992.

participation rates of full-time students aged 17


In 2002 the apparent retention rate of full-time school students from Year 7/8 to Year 12 was 75.1% compared to 73.4% in 2001 and 77.1% in 1992. As in previous years, the apparent retention rate for females (80.7%) was significantly higher than the rate for males (69.8%).

Over the last decade the apparent retention rate from Year 10 to Year 12 decreased slightly from 78.6% in 1992 to 77.0% in 2002, with the rate for females in 2002 again being considerably higher than that for males (81.7% and 72.4% respectively).

Apparent retention rates for full-time Indigenous school students, from Year 7/8 to both Year 10 and Year 12, have continued to rise over the last five years — the rate to Year 10 increased from 80.6% in 1997 to 86.4% in 2002, and the rate to Year 12 increased from 30.9% to 38.0%.


There were 225,353 full-time equivalent (FTE) teaching staff in 2002, 152,982 at government schools and 72,371 at non-government schools. This was an overall increase of 1.4% from the previous year.

The number of FTE teaching staff in government schools increased by 5.1% since 1997 compared to a 17.6% growth in the non-government sector. In the year to 2002, government FTE school teacher numbers increased by 0.3% and non-government FTE school teacher numbers grew by 3.7%.

The proportion of FTE teaching staff who are female continues to rise - in 2002, 67.3% of all FTE teachers were female. The figure was 79.1% in primary schools and 55.1% in secondary schools. The comparable figures in 1997 were 65.0%, 76.9% and 53.1% respectively.

Overall, the average number of FTE primary school students per FTE teacher was 16.9. In the government sector the average was 16.7 and in non-government schools it was 17.3. The equivalent figure for secondary schools was 12.5, with an average of 12.6 in government schools and 12.3 in non-government schools.