4221.0 - Schools, Australia, 2006  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 26/02/2007   
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February 26, 2007
Embargoed 11:30am (AEDT)

More students staying to Year 12, but fewer male teachers: ABS

More students are staying in school and class sizes have gone down, but there are also fewer male teachers than there were 20 years ago, according to figures released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

The ABS annual schools census shows that as at August 2006, nearly three-quarters of all students were staying in school to Year 12; 20 years ago, less than half of all students stayed to Year 12. In 2006, 32% of teachers were male, which is a decrease of 10% since 1986.

In 2006, there was an average of 16 students per teacher (full-time equivalent) in primary schools, and 12.2 students per teacher in secondary schools. Ten years earlier there were 18.1 students per teacher for primary schools and 12.8 students per teacher for secondary schools.

There were also over 1.1 million students in non-government schools, making up a third (33%) of all students. This is up from just over a quarter (26%) of all students in 1986.

In 1986, the average primary school size was 210 students; by 2006 this had grown to 250 students.

The total number of primary schools fell by 229 (down 2.9%). The number of large primary schools (600 or more students) increased from 314 to 492 (up 57%).

In 2006 the average secondary school size was 538 students, a marginal increase since 1986.

There are now 210 more secondary schools (up 8.6%) than in 1986. The number of large secondary schools (1,200 or more students) has doubled from 95 to 190.

The number of combined primary and secondary schools has grown by just over 40% (from 829 to 1,181) since 1986.

The August 2006 annual snapshot also found:
  • there were over 3.4 million students in 9,612 schools across Australia, with just over 270,000 teaching staff
  • in 2006 there were 140,000 Indigenous students reported, compared to 42,000 in 1986.

Further details are in Schools Australia, 2006 (cat. no. 4221.0).