National Report on Schooling in Australia 2013


Student participation

4.1 Enrolment



The proportion of school-aged children who are enrolled in school is a measure of the reach and coverage of Australian schooling and of the extent to which young people have access to school education. It is specified as a key performance measure (KPM) in the Measurement Framework for Schooling in Australia 2012.

This KPM is specified as the number of students aged 6–15 years enrolled in school, expressed as a proportion of the 6–15-year-old population. KPM 1(a) for the period 2009–2013 is reported in table 4.1.

Proportion of children aged 6–15 years who are enrolled in school

Table 4.1 Number and proportion of the population aged 6–15 years enrolled in school, 2009–2013

Table 4.1 Number and proportion of the population aged 6–15 years enrolled in school, 2009–2013


(a) School data include students who cross state and territory boundaries to attend school. Includes children enrolled full time or part time. Jervis Bay enrolments and Norfolk Island enrolments are included. 'Other territory' enrolments are excluded.

(b) Estimates for the total population are sourced from ABS, Cat. No. 3101.0, Australian Demographic Statistics, 30 June 2014. The Australia total includes 'other territories' including Jervis Bay and Norfolk Island.

(c) Estimates for the total population of 6–15-year-olds for, 2009, 2010 and 2011 have been rebased to the 2011 Census of Population and Housing.

(d) Proportions are calculated using a numerator from the National Schools Statistics Collection (published as Schools Australia) and a denominator from Estimated Resident Population data (published in Australian Demographic Statistics). When developing an indicator using data from different sources, significant data comparability issues can emerge that will affect the accuracy of the indicator. These differences can have unexpected effects such as producing an estimate greater than 100 per cent of the population.

Sources: ABS, Cat. No. 4221.0, Schools, Australia, 2013; ABS, Cat. No. 3101.0, Australian Demographic Statistics, Australian States and Territories, June 2014.

See also Part 9: Additional statistics, table 9.


The rate of enrolment in schooling of 6–15-year-olds approximates 100 per cent in each of the five years (2009–2013) for which this measure is reported, reflecting the compulsory nature of schooling for this age group.

However, it is acknowledged that the KPM is an approximation, not an exact measure, of the rate of participation in schooling by students of compulsory school age/year level.

First, KPM 1(a) excludes some students for whom schooling is compulsory. Participation in school education is compulsory for Australian children in all states and territories at least from the age of six until they complete Year 10. Participation full time in some form of education, training or employment, but not necessarily schooling, is mandatory until the age of 17 1. The age range specified in KPM 1(a) of 6–15 inclusive (as of 1 July in the reporting year) captures nearly all students of compulsory school age/year level. However, it excludes those students who were 16 years old and over by midway through the calendar year but had not yet completed Year 10 2.

Second, the numerator and denominator for KPM 1(a) are drawn from different types of data source. The count of 6–15-year-old school students that forms the numerator of the KPM is administrative data drawn from the National Schools Statistics Collection (NSSC), collected in the annual schools census and published by the Australian Bureau of Statistics as Schools Australia. The denominator for the 6–15-year-old population is drawn from the Estimated Residential Population (ERP) for this age group, which is estimated by projection from the five-yearly Australian Census of Population and Housing. As estimates, ERP figures are subject to error and to periodic revision. As a result, and because of data comparability issues between the two data sets, proportions may exceed 100 per cent.

For rates of enrolment for 6–15-year-olds by state and territory, see Part 9: Additional statistics, table 9.

In 2013, students in the 6–15 years age group made up 78 per cent of total enrolments in schools. The remaining 22 per cent (approximately 801 thousand students) were either under six, or 16 and over at 1 July 2013, the age reference date for the annual schools census of August 2013.








1 This has applied since the implementation of the National Youth Participation Requirement across all states and territories in 2010. (See table 3.1: Primary and secondary school structures, minimum age of commencement for Year 1 and minimum school leaving age by state and territory, 2013 for a summary of enrolment requirements in each jurisdiction.)

2 The age at which students typically complete Year 10 varies between jurisdictions because of historical differences in requirements for school commencement, but for most students it is 15 or 16.

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