4221.0 - Schools, Australia, 2017  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 02/02/2018   
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GLOSSARY

AFFILIATION

Affiliation categorises schools and their enrolments and refers generally to the systems that administer their operation. It is a hierarchical classification with two broad categories, government and non-government.

The non-government affiliation can be further subcategorised based on the self-reported religious or philosophical beliefs and values maintained by the school.

In this publication, the subcategories of non-government affiliation are reported as either Catholic (systemic and non-systemic) or Independent (Anglican schools and other schools which have associations with religious or secular bodies, or are entirely independent).

Data in the publication which are classified by affiliation are published at the level of government and non-government, as well as government, Catholic and Independent.

ANCILLARY EDUCATION ESTABLISHMENT (AEE)

An ancillary education establishment is defined as an establishment which satisfies all of the following criteria:

  • its major activity is the provision of aspects of full-time day primary, secondary or special school education to students supplementary to that provided by schools, and
  • it has attached to it (possibly on a part-time basis) at least one permanent teacher or other supervisory person, and
  • students from more than one school may undertake education at it.

Examples of AEEs include:
  • hospital and prison schools (those not classified as special schools)
  • schools of the air which do not have officially recognised student enrolments (although students may be supervised with work programs from their 'home school' or a distance education school)
  • an education unit attached to a museum or art gallery, and
  • a work experience, music or computing centre, etc.

APPARENT RATES

As direct measurement of the change in circumstances of individual students progressing through the education system is not currently possible, apparent measures, based on aggregate student data, have been developed to provide indicative measurements of student engagement in secondary education.

APPARENT CONTINUATION RATE (ACR)

This measures the proportion of an age group of students (full-time and part-time) that has continued in school from one grade to the next. See Explanatory Notes for further information.

APPARENT PROGRESSION RATE (APR)

This measures the proportion of a cohort of full-time students that moves from one grade to the next based on an expected rate of progression of one grade per year. See Explanatory Notes for further information.

APPARENT RETENTION RATE (ARR)

This provides an indicative measure of the number of school students who have stayed at school for a designated grade and year. It is calculated by dividing the number of students in a cohort in a specific calendar year by the number of students in the same cohort in a previous reference year. It is expressed as a percentage. For example, an ARR for Years 10 to 12 in 2014 would measure the proportion of Year 10 students in 2012 that had continued to Year 12 in 2014. See Explanatory Notes for further information.

ESTIMATED RESIDENT POPULATION (ERP)

The ERP is an estimate of the population of Australia, based on data from the quinquennial ABS Census of Population and Housing, and is updated quarterly using information on births, deaths, and overseas and internal migration provided by state, territory and Australian government departments. See Australian Demographic Statistics, June 2016 (cat. no. 3101.0) for further details. The Explanatory Notes contain further information on how this series is used in Schools, Australia, 2016 (cat. no. 4221.0).

FULL-TIME STUDENT

This is based on the minimum workload required to ensure that a student could complete a given grade in a calendar year. The prescribed workload may vary between states and territories and from grade to grade.

FULL-TIME EQUIVALENT (FTE) TEACHING STAFF

The FTE value is a measure used to indicate the level of staffing resources. Staff who are employed full-time and engaged solely on activities which fall within the scope of this collection have an FTE value of 1.0. All FTE values are rounded to one decimal place.

Staff not employed on a full-time basis, and/or engaged in a combination of in-scope and out-of-scope activities, have their FTE value calculated on the basis of the proportion of time spent on in-scope activities compared with staff that would be considered full-time.

GRADE AND SCHOOL LEVEL

Grade of education comprises Pre-Year 1 through to Year 12, including Ungraded primary and Ungraded secondary.

School Level comprises Primary and Secondary.

Variations in schooling structures between the states and territories result in differences in the grades that comprise School Levels. In particular, variation occurs in the treatment of Year 7, which is the first grade of Secondary school for all states and territories with the exception of South Australia, where it is the last grade of Primary school.

For information on the structure of schooling in the various states and territories in Australia, see Appendix: Differences in Schooling Structures. The Explanatory Notes contain further information on data comparability.

INDIGENOUS STATUS

For the purposes of the NSSC a student is classified as being of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander origin based on information provided by the student, or their parent/guardian, on the school enrolment form.

NATIONAL SCHOOL STATISTICS COLLECTION (NSSC)

The NSSC is a collection of data on students, schools, and staff involved in the provision or administration of primary and secondary education, in government and non-government schools, for all Australian states and territories. A statistical summary of the results of the NSSC is the subject of this ABS release.

PART-TIME STUDENT

A part-time student is one who undertakes a workload less than that specified as full-time. The FTE value of a part-time student is calculated by dividing the student's workload by that which is considered to be the minimum workload for a full-time student by that state or territory. The minimum workload for a full-time student is that which would ensure the student could complete a given grade in a year.

Methods for estimating the FTE value of part-time students vary between states and territories due to different policy and administrative arrangements.

Age level data for part-time students is available only from 2006 onwards.

PRIMARY SCHOOL

See 'Grade and School Level'.

SCHOOL

A school is an education establishment which satisfies all of the following criteria:
  • its major activity is the provision of full-time day primary or secondary education or the provision of primary or secondary distance education
  • it is headed by a principal (or equivalent) responsible for its internal operation, and
  • it is possible for students to enrol for a minimum of four continuous weeks, excluding breaks for school vacations.

The term 'school' in this publication includes schools in institutions and hospitals, mission schools and similar establishments.

The term 'school' in this publication excludes preschools, kindergarten centres, pre-primary schools or pre-primary classes in or attached to non-special schools, senior technical and agricultural colleges, evening schools, continuation classes and institutions such as business or coaching colleges.

Multi-campus arrangements are counted as one school. Changes to school counts in this publication can occur when multiple schools amalgamate into a single multi-campus school, or multi-campus schools divide into separate schools.

SECONDARY SCHOOL

See 'Grade and School Level'.

SECTOR

See 'Affiliation'.

SPECIAL SCHOOL

A special school satisfies the definition of a school and requires one or more of the following characteristics to be exhibited by the student before enrolment is allowed:
  • mental or physical disability or impairment
  • slow learning ability
  • social or emotional problems
  • in custody, on remand or in hospital.

Special schools include Special Assistance Schools, as defined under the Australian Education Act, 2013. These are non-government schools that are:
(a) likely to be recognised by the State Minister as a special assistance school, and
(b) primarily established to cater for students with social, emotional or behavioural difficulties.

STAFF

Staff are persons engaged in the administration and/or provision of day primary, secondary or special school education, or primary or secondary education by distance education at in-scope education establishments.

The reporting of staff is split into two broad categories, In-school staff and Out-of-school staff. In-school staff spend the majority of their time actively engaged in duties at one or more schools or ancillary education establishments (AEEs). Out-of-school staff consists of executive staff and staff not generally active in schools or AEEs. Each of these is further categorised by major function, as determined by the duties performed.

Staff not employed on a full-time basis, and/or engaged in a combination of in-scope and out-of-scope activities, have their FTE value calculated on the basis of the proportion of time spent on in-scope activities compared with staff that would be considered full-time.

Staff absent from a position for a period of less than four continuous weeks, as at the Census date, are included, while staff who have been, or are expected to be, absent from a position for a period of four or more continuous weeks are excluded. Replacement staff are included if they have, or are expected to, occupy the position for four or more continuous weeks.

Included in the definition of staff are:
  • staff teaching evening secondary students attending Secondary Colleges in Tasmania, Western Australia, Northern Territory and Queensland
  • staff paid from school grant payments, and
  • staff employed under various government sponsored employment schemes.

Excluded from the definitions of staff are:
  • persons not under the control of the director-general (or equivalent), e.g. nurses or therapists working for the state or territory department of health (or equivalent)
  • persons responsible to a state, territory or Commonwealth minister of education but not to the director-general (or equivalent), and
  • persons under the control of the director-general (or equivalent) who satisfy one or more of the following criteria:
  • are cleaners, whether salaried or employed on contract
  • are involved in the management and/or maintenance of boarding or hostel facilities for students
  • are paid from privately raised funds
  • have been occupying, or expect to be occupying, a position for a period of less than four continuous weeks at the Census date, and/or
  • are persons replacing those who are temporarily absent.

STUDENT

A student is a person who, on the census date, is formally enrolled in a school and active in a primary, secondary and/or special education program at that school. Students may be enrolled at more than one school, however jurisdictions employ strategies which ensure that, as far as possible, such students are reported only once in this collection.

Persons not present at a school on the NSSC census date are included if they were expected to be absent for less than four continuous weeks.

Student participation in VET in Schools (including through TAFE), school-based apprenticeships or traineeships, work placements or tertiary extension studies, or a combination of such programs as part of the student’s school enrolment, is in scope for the NSSC. The workload of these subjects/programs (which may take place outside the school premises) is included in a student’s aggregate workload to determine whether a student is classified as full-time or part-time, and in calculating the full-time equivalent for part-time students. The total workload recorded is capped at 1.00 FTE.

TEACHING STAFF

Teaching staff are defined as those who spend the majority of their time in contact with students. They support students either by direct class contact or on an individual basis, and are engaged to impart school curriculum.

For the purposes of this collection, teaching staff also includes principals, deputy principals, campus principals and senior teachers mainly involved in administration. Teacher aides and assistants, and specialist support staff are excluded, except assistant teachers working in Homeland Learning Centres and Community Schools in the Northern Territory.