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Schools

Data on students, staff, schools, rates and ratios for government and non-government schools, for all Australian states and territories

Reference period
2019

Key statistics

  • there were 3,948,811 students enrolled in 9,503 schools.
  • teachers made up 68.5% of in-school full-time equivalent staff.
  • the year 7 to 12 full-time apparent retention rate was 84.0%.
  • the average student to teaching staff ratio for all schools was 13.7.

Students

In 2019

  • there were 3,948,811 students enrolled in schools across Australia, an increase of 54,977 (1.4%) since 2018
  • government schools held the greatest share of enrolments (65.7%), followed by Catholic schools (19.5%) and independent schools (14.8%)
     

A twenty year view of enrolment shares shows a decline in government shares until 2014. Since then, there has been an overall slight upward trend in government school enrolments, with 2019 shares close to those in 2010.

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Total student enrolments have continued to increase in the five years to 2019, with a 5.3% increase. Independent schools had the largest increase with 8.1%, followed by government schools with 6.1%.

Table 1. Student enrolments by school affiliation, Australia, 2015-2019
201920182017201620152015-19 (% change)
Government2,594,8302,558,1692,524,8652,483,8022,445,1306.1
Catholic769,719765,735766,870767,050765,5390.5
Independent584,262569,930557,490547,374540,3048.1
TOTAL3,948,8113,893,8343,849,2253,798,2263,750,9735.3


The Australian Capital Territory, Victoria and Queensland reported the highest annual growth rates of student enrolments in 2019 (2.0%, 1.8%, and 1.7% respectively), while the Northern Territory reported a slight decline (down 0.1%).

These patterns are consistent with changes to the total population aged 5 to 19 years living in these states and territories, with Victoria, Queensland and the Australian Capital Territory experiencing the highest growth rates for this age group (2.0%, 1.7% and 1.6% respectively), and the Northern Territory experiencing the only decline (down 0.1%) (Australian Demographic Statistics, Jun 2019, cat. no. 3101.0).

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In 2019, non-government school enrolment rates were

  • highest in the Australian Capital Territory (38.9%) and Victoria (36.0%)
  • lowest in the Northern Territory (26.3%)
  • lower for students attending schools in very remote areas (13.3%) than for remote areas (21.8%), outer regional areas (25.8%), inner regional areas (33.4%) and major cities (36.4%)
     

Map 1. Student enrolment counts by state and territory and school affiliation, 2019

A map of Australia showing student enrolment counts by state and territory and school affiliation for 2019

Map 1. Student enrolment counts by state and territory and school affiliation, 2019

A map of Australia showing student enrolment counts by state and territory and affiliation for 2019.

Western Australia 284,978 Government student enrolments; 138,551 Non-Government enrolments.
Northern Territory 29,957 Government student enrolments; 10,711 Non-Government enrolments.
South Australia 177,246 Government student enrolments; 95,303 Non-Government enrolments.
Victoria 634,037 Government student enrolments; 356,700 Non-Government enrolments.
Tasmania 57,051 Government student enrolments; 24,652 Non-Government enrolments.
Australian Capital Territory 44,299 Government student enrolments; 28,145 Non-Government enrolments.
New South Wales 806,261 Government student enrolments; 426,106 Non-Government enrolments.
Queensland 561,001 Government student enrolments; 273,813 Non-Government enrolments.

Retention rates

In 2019

  • the year 7 to 12 full-time apparent retention rate for Australia was 84.0%, a slight decrease from 84.5% in 2018
  • the retention rate for females (88.6%) was higher than for males (79.6%)
  • independent schools had the highest retention rate (93.2%), followed by government schools (82.2%) then Catholic schools (81.1%)
  • the Australian Capital Territory had the highest retention rate at 94.0%, and the Northern Territory had the lowest retention rate at 54.3%
     
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Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students

In 2019

  • there were 230,677 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students enrolled in Australian schools in 2019, 3.9% higher than in 2018
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students accounted for 5.8% of all students
  • the majority of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students were enrolled in government schools (83.7%)
  • the Northern Territory had the highest proportion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students at 39.1%
  • the remaining states and territories recorded enrolments, ranging from 1.7% in Victoria to 9.2% in Tasmania
     
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Year 7 to 12 full-time apparent retention rates

  • The retention rate for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students in 2019 was 58.7%, a slight decrease from 60.9% in 2018.
  • Queensland and Tasmania experienced the greatest decline in retention rates (2.8 and 2.0 percentage points respectively).
  • The largest increase in retention rates occurred in the Northern Territory (2.5 percentage points).

Schools

In 2019

  • there were 9,503 schools in Australia, a net increase of 26 schools since 2018 (13 government, 10 independent and 3 Catholic schools)
  • Queensland reported the largest increase in total school counts (10 schools), followed by Victoria (9 schools)
     
Table 2. School counts by state and territory, 2018-2019
NSWVic.QldSAWATas.NTACTAust
20193,1032,2471,7557151,0972621891359,503
20183,1012,2381,7457161,0942611881349,477

Staff

In 2019

  • there were 288,294 full-time equivalent (FTE) teaching staff in Australian schools (similar to 2018), of which 81,456 were male and 206,838 were female
  • there were 149,462 teachers in primary schools, and 138,832 teachers in secondary schools
  • there was a higher proportion of male teachers in secondary schools (39.2%) than primary schools (18.1%)
     
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The student to teaching staff ratio for all schools was 13.7, and was higher in primary schools (15.1) than secondary schools (12.1).

Independent schools had a lower student to teacher ratio (11.7) than Catholic schools (13.9) and government schools (14.2).

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Table 32a non-special schools by primary enrolment, 2004-2019

Table 33a non-special schools by secondary enrolment, 2004-2019

Table 35b counts of all schools, 2010-2019

Table 36a non-special schools by enrolment size ranges, 2015-2019

Table 42b number of full-time and part-time students, 2006-2019

Table 43a full-time equivalent students, 2006-2019

Table 46a students (FTE) by ASGS remoteness indicator, 2019

Table 50a in-school staff (number), 2006-2019

Table 51a in-school staff (FTE), 2006-2019

Table 53a student (FTE) to teaching staff (FTE) ratios, 2006-2019

Table 57a out-of-school staff (number and FTE), 2015-2019

Table 62a capped apparent continuation rates, 2011-2019

Table 63a capped apparent retention rates by single year (grade), 2011-2019

Table 64a capped apparent retention rates, 2011-2019

Table 64b capped apparent retention rates (FTE), 2013-2019

Table 66a capped school participation rates for students aged 6-19 years, 2011-2019

Table 67a consolidated student rates, 2011-2019

Table 90a key information, by state and territory, 2018 to 2019

All data cubes

Previous catalogue number

This release previously used catalogue number 4221.0.