4221.0 - Schools, Australia, 2011 Quality Declaration 
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 21/03/2012   
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In 2011, there were 9,435 Australian schools, comprising 6,705 government schools (71%), 1,710 Catholic schools (18%) and 1,020 Independent schools (11%).

Graph: number of schools by affiliation 2011

These figures are similar to the 2010 figures when there were 6,743 government schools (71%), 1,708 Catholic schools (18%) and 1,017 Independent schools (11%) with a total 9,468 schools. These proportions have remained consistent over the past ten years.

Nationally in 2011, 33% of schools were in NSW, 24% were in Victoria and 18% were in Queensland. Together Western Australia and South Australia accounted for about 19% of schools while the remaining 6% were in Tasmania, the Northern Territory and the Australian Capital Territory. The graph below shows the volumes these figures are based on.

Graph: number of schools by state and territory 2011

In 2011, the proportion of government affiliated schools was highest in the Northern Territory, Tasmania and South Australia, with 81%, 75% and 74% respectively. The proportion of non-government schools was highest in the Australian Capital Territory, Victoria and New South Wales, with 34%, 31% and 30% respectively.

Nationally, Independent schools accounted for 11% of the total schools in Australia, with the highest proportion being in Western Australia (13%) and the lowest proportion being in Victoria (9%). The proportion of Catholic schools varied more, with the highest proportion being in the Australian Capital Territory (23%) and the lowest proportion being in the Northern Territory (8%).

Graph: non-government schools as a proportion of all schools by state or territory 2011

The 2011 figures also show that approximately 67% of Australian schools were primary schools (6,312), almost 15% were secondary (1,396), 14% were combined schools (1,305) and 4% were special schools (422).

The majority of the primary, secondary and special schools were in the government sector, whilst the majority of combined schools were in the non-government sector.

The 2011 figures show that the government sector included 4,847 primary schools, 1,023 secondary schools, 504 combined schools and 331 special schools. The non-government sector included 1,465 primary schools, 373 secondary schools, 801 combined schools and 68 special schools.

Graph: number of schools and school type and affiliation 2011

Note: As in previous years, a number of states/territories have had programs resulting in the amalgamation of some schools. Through these amalgamations, two or more schools merge to make one school, though often remain separate physical entities. These amalgamations cause a reduction in the school counts collected in the NSSC, and can result in a changed profile of school characteristics (e.g. if a primary and a secondary school amalgamate, the two schools become one and would be reported as a combined school, and amalgamated school’s enrolment size would be reported as the sum of the enrolments). Where amalgamations have occurred they may affect comparisons of schools counts and characteristics with those for previous years. For more information on specific programs on management of schools please refer to the relevant state or territory department website.