Recent data released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has revealed that total school enrolments increased by 0.3 per cent to 4,042,512 students across 9614 schools in 2022.
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This increase of 11,795 students resulted in the highest number of enrolments on record. Independent schools recorded the highest growth rate (3.3 per cent), followed by Catholic schools (1.0 per cent). Enrolments in government schools fell for a second successive year, down 16,929 (-0.6 per cent).
Ellouise Roberts, ABS head of education statistics, said: “Over the past decade, enrolments in independent schools increased by over 25 per cent (130,306). In comparison, government school enrolments rose 11 per cent (263,447), followed by an 8 per cent (58,773) rise in Catholic school enrolments over the same period.”
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander school student enrolments continued to increase, up by 6693 (2.7 per cent) from the previous year, with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students now making up 6.3 per cent of all school students.
Across the country, primary school student enrolments were down slightly, with 20,266 fewer students enrolled compared with 2021 (-0.9 per cent). Secondary school student enrolments increased by 32,061 students (1.8 per cent).
“These growth rates are partially due to South Australia fully transitioning to Year 7 as the starting secondary school grade in 2022. Changes in student numbers are also likely to reflect changes in the number of children in particular age groups,” Ms Roberts said.
In 2022, there were 307,041 full-time equivalent teaching staff across Australian primary and secondary schools, an increase of 1.2 per cent from 2021.
Across all schools, the average student to teacher ratio was 13.1 students to one teacher compared with 13.3 students to one teacher in 2021. Independent schools had a lower student to teacher ratio (11.7 students to one teacher) than government schools (13.4 students to one teacher) and Catholic schools (13.6 students to one teacher).