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Independent schools snapshot released

Independent schools now enrol 17 per cent of all school students in Australia, with enrolments growing by 3.2 percent in 2022

Independent Schools Australia (ISA) has published its annual Snapshot, which draws on the latest available data to provide an overview of the characteristics of the Independent school sector, enrolments and more.

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ISA Chief Executive Officer, Mr Graham Catt said, “The 2023 data tells a story of families who have increasingly been discovering the great diversity of Independent schools and the choice this offers. There are schools that cater for all kinds of values, religious affiliations, and pedagogical approaches.

“With a 3.2 per cent growth in enrolments in 2022, Independent schools now enrol 17 per cent of all school students in Australia,” Mr Catt said.

While enrollments are rising for the Independent school sector, government schools still dominate the education landscape. Data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) indicates that in 2022, 64.5 percent of students attended government schools, followed by Catholic schools (19.7%) and independent schools (15.9%). Over the five years to 2022, total student enrolments increased by 3.8 percent across Australia, with Independent schools recording the largest increase (12.5%).

According to the ABS, Independent schools had a lower student to teacher ratio in 2022 (11.7 students to one teacher) than government schools (13.4 students to one teacher) and Catholic schools (13.6 students to one teacher).

Snapshot data revealed that close to 688,640 students attend Independent schools, including 17,752 indigenous students and an estimated 143,500 students with disability. Independent schools employ more than 19 per cent of all teachers in Australian schools, and the median annual fee of Independent schools is $5,272

According to Snapshot data, the majority of Independent school funding (around 52 per cent of recurrent and capital funding) comes from parents and school communities.

The six-page Snapshot, and its companion publication one-page At a Glance are available on the ISA website.

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