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The term ‘school’ in this publication includes schools in institutions and hospitals, mission schools and similar establishments. The term 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.
Secondary school education
Secondary education typically commences after completion of primary education, at around age 12 years, and lasts for five or six years. In NSW, Vic., Tas., NT and the ACT, secondary education may extend from year 7 to year 12. In Qld, SA and WA it may extend from year 8 to year 12. Part-time secondary student estimates vary considerably between states and territories, as each education authority has different policy and organisational arrangements. The number of part-time courses available also varies considerably between states and territories. Age level data for part-time students are not published as not all states and territories collect the age of part-time students.
A student is a person who prior to the census date is formally enrolled in a school and active in a course of study other than preschool or TAFE courses. Students not present at school on the NSSC census date were included if they were expected to be absent for less than four continuous weeks (excluding school vacations). Students were excluded if they had left the school or had been absent without explanation for four continuous weeks (excluding school vacations) prior to the census date.
Students who are undertaking TAFE, tertiary studies, apprenticeships, work placements, VET in schools or a combination of such pathways, in addition to 'normal' school subjects, are in the scope of the NSSC, regardless of which year of schooling these alternative pathways are undertaken. The workload of both the 'normal' school subject(s) and alternative pathways are aggregated together to determine whether a student is classified as full-time or part-time and in calculating the full-time equivalent for part-time students.
A full-time student is one who undertakes a workload equivalent to, or greater than, that prescribed for a full-time student of that year level. This may vary between states and territories and from year to year.
A part-time student is one who undertakes a workload less than that specified as full-time.
The full-time equivalent (FTE) of part-time students has been calculated by dividing the student's workload into that which is considered to be a full workload by that state or territory. To calculate the FTE of all students the FTE of part-time students is added to the number of full-time students.
Student /Teaching staff ratio
The student to teaching staff ratio is the number of full-time students plus full-time equivalent (FTE) of part-time students divided by the number of FTE teaching staff.
Teaching staff are staff 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 have teaching duties, (ie. are engaged to impart school curriculum). For the purposes of this collection, teaching staff includes principals, deputy principals, campus principals and senior teachers mainly involved in administration. Teacher aides and assistants, and specialist support staff are excluded.
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