4221.0 - Schools, Australia, 2005  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 23/02/2006   
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In August 2005, there were 9,623 schools in Australia, of which 6,929 (72.0%) were government schools and 2,694 (28.0%) were non-government schools.

In 2005 71.5% of all non-special schools were primary only, 15.9% were secondary only and 12.6% were combined primary/secondary schools. In 1995 these proportions were 73.7%, 16.6% and 9.7% respectively. Over the decade this equates to a decrease of 305 in the number of primary or secondary schools, and an increase of 266 in the number of combined primary/secondary schools.


In 2005 there were 3,348,139 full-time school students. The proportion of these students attending government schools was 67.1%, down from 71.0% in 1995.

From 1995 to 2005, the number of full-time students attending government schools grew by 1.7% (from 2,207,853 to 2,246,087), while the number attending non-government schools increased by 22.2% (from 901,484 to 1,102,052).

There were 25,073 part-time school students in 2005, a decrease of 4.1% since 2004. The Northern Territory (NT) had the highest proportion of part-time students (3.0%), followed by South Australia (SA) with 2.7% and Tasmania (Tas.) with 2.3%.

In 2005 there were 135,097 Indigenous full-time school students, a 3.5% increase since 2004. Almost 58% of these students attended schools in New South Wales (NSW) or Queensland (Qld) in 2005. There were 3,427 Indigenous full-time students in Year 12, across all States and Territories, in 2005, compared to 2,620 five years earlier.


At the Australian level, the age participation rates for full-time school students in 2005 were 94.7% for 15-year-olds, 82.6% for 16-year-olds and 63.5% for 17-year-olds, the latter rising from 58.6% in 1995.

Graph: participation rates of full-time students aged 17 years.


In 2005 the apparent retention rate of full-time school students from Year 7/8 to Year 12 was 75.3% compared to 75.7% in 2004 and 72.2% in 1995. As in previous years, the apparent retention rate for females (81.0%) was significantly higher than the rate for males (69.9%).

Apparent retention from Year 10 to Year 12 is down 0.7 percentage points between 2004 and 2005, while over the last decade it has increased from 73.4% in 1995 to 76.5% in 2005. The Year 10 to Year 12 rate for females in 2005 was again considerably higher than that for males (81.6% and 71.5% respectively).

Apparent retention rates for Indigenous full-time 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 83.0% in 2000 to 88.3% in 2005, and the rate to Year 12 increased from 36.4% to 39.5%. These Indigenous retention rates are lower than the comparable rates for non-Indigenous students. In 2005, the rate to Year 10 for non-Indigenous school students was 98.6%, while the rate to Year 12 was 76.6%.


There were 235,794 full-time equivalent (FTE) teaching staff in 2005, 156,564 at government schools and 79,231 at non-government schools. This was an overall increase of 1.2% from the previous year, and 16.5% (33,394) higher than in 1995.

The number of FTE teaching staff in government schools has increased by 8.9% since 1995 compared to 35.2% in the non-government sector. In the year to August 2005, government FTE school teacher numbers increased by 0.3% and non-government FTE school teacher numbers grew by 3.0%.

The proportion of FTE teaching staff who are female continues to rise — in 2005, 68.0% of all FTE teachers were female. The figure was 79.7% in primary schools and 56.0% in secondary schools. The comparable figures in 1995 were 64.2%, 76.1% and 52.3% respectively.

Overall, the average number of FTE primary school students per FTE teacher was 16.2. In government schools the average was 16.1 and in non-government schools it was 16.6. The equivalent figure for secondary schools was 12.2, with an average of 12.4 in government schools and 11.9 in non-government schools.