4221.0 - Schools, Australia, 2006  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 26/02/2007   
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In August 2006, there were 9,612 schools in Australia, of which 6,902 (71.8%) were government schools and 2,710 (28.2%) were non-government schools.

In 2006 71.2% of all non-special schools were primary only, 16.0% were secondary only and 12.8% were combined primary/secondary schools. In 1996 these proportions were 73.4%, 16.6% and 9.9% respectively. Over the decade this equates to a decrease of 295 in the number of primary or secondary schools, and an increase of 262 in the number of combined primary/secondary schools.

The number of secondary schools with 1200 or more students has doubled from 1986 (from 95 to 190), while the total number of secondary schools has increased by only 8.6% (210) over the same period. The number of primary schools with 600 or more students has increased by 56.7% (178 schools) from 1986, while the total number of primary schools has decreased by 2.9% (229 schools) over the same period.


In 2006 there were 3,368,036 full-time school students. The proportion of these students attending government schools was 66.8%, down from 70.7% in 1996.

From 1996 to 2006, the number of full-time students attending government schools grew by 1.2% (from 2,221,557 to 2,248,229), while the number attending non-government schools increased by 21.5% (from 921,458 to 1,119,807).

Proportion of non-government full-time students
Graph: Proportion of non-government full-time students

There were 24,530 part-time school students in 2006, a decrease of 2.2% since 2005. The Northern Territory (NT) had the highest proportion of part-time students (3.0%), followed by South Australia (SA) with 2.8% and Tasmania (Tas.) with 2.1%.

In 2006 there were 140,381 Indigenous full-time school students, a 3.9% increase since 2005. Almost 58% of these students attended schools in New South Wales (NSW) or Queensland (Qld) in 2006. There were 3,728 Indigenous full-time students in Year 12, across all states and territories in 2006, compared to 2,620 five years earlier.


At the Australian level, the age participation rates for full-time school students in 2006 were 94.5% for 15-year-olds, 84.1% for 16-year-olds and 63.4% for 17-year-olds, the latter rising from 59.2% in 1996.

Participation rates of full-time school students
Graph: Participation rates of full-time school students


There were 239,639 full-time equivalent (FTE) teaching staff in 2006, 158,194 at government schools and 81,445 at non-government schools. This was an overall increase of 1.6% from the previous year, and 17.5% (35,667) higher than in 1996.

The number of FTE teaching staff in government schools increased by 9.8% from 1996 compared to a 35.7% increase in the non-government sector. In the year to August 2006, government FTE school teacher numbers increased by 1.0% and non-government FTE school teacher numbers grew by 2.8%.

The proportion of FTE teaching staff who are female continues to rise - in 2006 68.3% of all FTE teachers were female, 79.8% in primary schools and 56.6% in secondary schools. The comparable figures in 1996 were 64.4%, 76.2% and 52.6% respectively.

Proportions of male teaching staff
Graph: Proportions of male teaching staff

Overall, the average number of FTE primary school students per FTE teacher was 16.0. In government schools the average was 15.8 and in non-government schools it was 16.4. The equivalent figure for secondary schools was 12.2 students, with an average of 12.4 in government schools and 11.8 in non-government schools.