4221.0 - Schools, Australia, 2011 Quality Declaration 
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 03/02/2012   
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In 2011 there were 3,541,809 students attending schools in Australia, an increase of 30,934 (0.9%) compared with 2010.

In that time primary students rose by 1.3%, from 2,015,017 to 2,042,081, while secondary students rose by 0.3%, from 1,495,858 to 1,499,728.

In 2011, there were almost twice as many students attending government schools (2,315,253) as there were attending non-government schools (1,226,556), however the non-government sector continued its trend of stronger growth from 2010 to 2011.

In 2011 the split of students between government and non-government schools was 65.4% and 34.6% respectively and these figures reinforce the long-term drift of students from government schools to non-government schools. For 2001 the split was 69.0% and 31.0% respectively.

Graph: number of full-time and part-time students by affiliation 2001 to 2011
Of the increase in student numbers from 2010 to 2011, the largest proportional increase in student numbers occurred in Independent schools, where student numbers rose by 1.9% (9,257), followed by Catholic schools, 1.5% (10,683), and government schools, 0.5% (10,994).
This continued the long term trend of more pronounced growth in student numbers at Independent schools. Since 2001 the number of students at Independent schools has increased by 129,151 (34.6%). Over the same time the number of students at Catholic and government schools increased by 75,402 (11.6%) and 40,650 (1.8%) respectively.

Graph: proportion of full-time and part-time students by affiliation, 2001, 2006 and 2011

Of the 22,277 students who attended school part-time in 2011, 20,295 (91.1%) attended government schools, while the majority of the remaining 1,982 part-time students were at Independent schools. However, while the total number of students in school in Australia has increased since 2001, the number of students in school on a part-time basis has decreased by 6,152.

Graph: number of part-time students by affiliation, 2001 2006 and 2011

In 2011, the proportion of male students slightly exceeded that of female students for all Years up to and including Year 10. For Year 11, female students exceeded males by 1%, while for Year 12, female students exceeded males by 4%. The figures were similar for students in government and non-government schools.

For Ungraded students, the male/female splits show a very different picture. In the government sector, male students accounted for 70% of Ungraded primary students, while in the non-government sector they accounted for 78.7%. Similarly, males made up 62.7% of Ungraded secondary students in the government sector, and 68.5% in the non-government sector. It should be noted that a large proportion of Ungraded students are likely to be in special schools, where traditionally the majority of students are male.

Graph: number of full-time and part-time students by sex and year level 2011