4221.0 - Schools, Australia, 2003  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 24/02/2004   
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February 24, 2004
Embargoed: 11:30 AM (AEST)

Australian Schools snapshot - ABS

There were 3.3 million Australian school students going to 9,607 schools in August 2003, according to data from the National Schools Census released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

These students were taught by just under 230,000 full-time equivalent school teachers. In 2003 there were 16,900 more full-time students attending school than the previous year (up 0.5%)

More than two-thirds (68%) of full-time students attended government schools, compared with 72% a decade earlier. Between 1993 and 2003 the number of full-time students increased by 1% (26,600) in government schools and by 22% (193,700) in non-government schools.

The annual snapshot also found:
    • More than three-quarters (77%) of full-time Year 10 students in 2001 continued through to the final year of secondary school in 2003.
    • The proportion of female students continuing through to Year 12 has been consistently about 10% higher than for male students since the early 1990s (82% for female students, compared with 72% for males, in 2003).
    • There were 125,900 Indigenous full-time students, 4% more than the previous year and 23% more than 1998.
    • The proportion of Indigenous full-time students who continued through to Year 12 from the commencements of secondary schooling has risen by 1 percentage point in the past year (to 39%) and by almost 7 percentage points in the last five years.
    • In 2003, there was an average of 16.6 students per teacher (full-time equivalents) in primary schools, and 12.4 in secondary schools. In 1998, the respective student/teacher ratios were 17.9 and 12.8.
    • Between 1998 and 2003 the proportion of male school teachers (full-time equivalents) declined from 22.5% to 20.9% in primary schools, and from 46.5% to 44.7% in secondary schools.

Further details are in Schools Australia, 2003 (cat. no. 4221.0).