National Report on Schooling in Australia 2010

Schools and schooling

3.2 School numbers

In 2010 there were 9,468 schools in Australia. This total included primary, secondary, combined (primary and secondary) and special schools, across government (71 per cent) and non-government (29 per cent) sectors. (See Glossary for definitions of school levels and sectors.)
 
Of the total number of schools, 71.2 per cent were administered by State and Territory governments, 18.0 per cent identified as having Catholic affiliation and 10.7 per cent were classified as independent. Most independent schools provide a religious-based education or promote a particular educational philosophy.
 
Approximately 77 per cent of primary schools, 73 per cent of secondary schools and 80 per cent of schools for students with special needs were in the government sector. The Catholic sector accounted for approximately 19 per cent of primary schools and 22 per cent of secondary schools while almost half of all combined schools were in the independent sector.
 

The number and proportion of schools by sector and school category is shown in Table 3.2.

 


 Table 3.2               Number and proportion of schools by sector and school category, Australia, 2010

School sector
School category
        Government
      Catholic
        Independent
        Total
No.
%
No.
%
No.
%
No.
%
Primary
4,879
76.8
1,230
19.3
248
248
6,357
67.1
Secondary
1,034
73.4
303
21.5
72
5.1
1,409
14.9
Combined
498
38.7
148
11.5
640
49.8
1,286
13.6
Special
332
79.8
27
6.5
57
13.7
416
4.4
Total
6,743
71.2
1,708
18.0
1,017
10.7
9,468
100.0
 
Note: Primary education comprises a pre-Year 1 grade followed by Years 1 to 6 in NSW, Victoria, Tasmania, NT and ACT. In Queensland, SA and WA, primary education comprises a pre-Year 1 grade followed by Years 1 to 7.

Source: ABS, Cat. No. 4221.0, Schools, Australia, 2010

See also Additional Statistics Table 1

 

The proportion of schools in each sector in 2010 is shown in Figure 3.1.

Figure 3.1               Proportion of schools by sector, Australia, 2010 

NRS2010- Figure 3.1

 

Source: ABS, Cat. No. 4221.0, Schools, Australia, 2010
 
The total number of schools fell by 1.5 per cent over the period 2006–10. This resulted from a fall in the number of government schools of 2.3 per cent, which was partially offset by a rise of 0.3 per cent in the number of Catholic schools and a rise of 1.0 per cent in the number of independent schools. This is reflected in a slight change in the proportions of government and non-government sector schools within this period, as shown in Table 3.3.
 

Table 3.3

Number and proportion of schools by sector, Australia, 2006
2010
 
                                                       School sector
 
Year
Government
Catholic
Independent
Total
No.
%
No.
%
No.
%
No.
%
2006
6,902
71.8
1,703
17.7
1,007
10.5
9,612
100.0
2007
6,851
71.5
1,703
17.8
1,025
10.7
9,579
100.0
2008
6,833
71.5
1,705
17.8
1,024
10.7
9,562
100.0
2009
6,802
71.4
1,705
17.9
1,022
10.7
9,529
100.0
2010
6,743
71.2
1,708
18.0
1,017
10.7
9,468
100.0
                       
Source: ABS Cat. No. 4221.0, Schools, Australia, 2010

See also Additional Statistics Table 1

 

 
Caution is required when interpreting time series for numbers of schools. The number of schools from year to year may vary because of decisions effecting structural changes in the composition of schooling. For example: several schools at the same level of education may amalgamate to form a multi-campus school; primary schools and secondary schools may merge to create pre-Year 1 to 12 (combined) schools; secondary schools may split to create middle schools and senior secondary schools. Schools may also fall in or out of the scope of the data collection, based on changes in their major activity. Each of these scenarios may affect the number of schools reported year to year (ABS, Cat. No. 4221.0, Schools, Australia, 2010, Explanatory note 26).

Figure 3.2 shows the number of schools in each sector over the period 2006–10.

Figure 3.2               Number of schools by sector, Australia, 2006–10

NRS2010- Figure 3.2

Source: ABS, Cat. No. 4221.0, Schools, Australia, 2010

For the number of schools by State and Territory 2006–10 see Additional Statistics Table 1.