Student numbers dataset

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Notes and caveats

    • Data is drawn from the National Schools Statistics Collection (NSSC) collected in August each year and published in ABS, Schools, Australia.
    • In 2020, restrictions due to COVID-19 may have impacted on NSSC enrolment data. However, students who were learning remotely, or whose schooling was temporarily disrupted due to COVID-19 at the time of the collection were included in the count. Overall, it is estimated that the impacts of COVID-19 on the data were minor. For further details see Schools Australia 2020.
    • Categories used in tables and graphs showing "school level" are "primary" and "secondary". In some tables, the categories "primary", "junior secondary", "senior secondary" and "total secondary" are used.
    • From 2015 primary education comprises Foundation (pre-Year 1) followed by Years 1-6 in New South Wales (NSW), Victoria (Vic.), Queensland (Qld), Western Australia (WA), Tasmania (Tas.), Northern Territory (NT) and Australian Capital Territory (ACT). Secondary education consists of Years 7-12 in these jurisdictions.
    • In 2015, Year 7 in Qld and WA was moved from a primary school year to a secondary school year. This change affected the number and proportion of primary and secondary students for these states and nationally from 2015.
    • Until 2019 in South Australia (SA), primary education comprised Foundation (pre-Year 1) followed by Years 1-7. Secondary education consisted of Years 8-12. Year 7 in SA will be moved progressively from a primary school year to a secondary school year (from 2022 for government schools).
    • In 2019, Year 7 was moved from a primary school year to a secondary school year in some South Australian non-government schools. This affects the number and proportion of primary and secondary students in SA in 2019. In 2020, three government schools also moved Year 7 to become the first year of secondary schooling.
    • In 2020, support students in New South Wales Government mainstream schools were recorded against their grade of enrolment for the first time, to be more aligned with national counting rules. Only students in Schools for Specific Purposes (SSP) are now recorded as ungraded. Care should be taken when comparing with previous years as enrolments by grades will be higher than previously due to the revised methodology.
    • Junior secondary comprises the years from commencement of secondary school (Year 7 or Year 8) to Year 10, including ungraded secondary.
    • Senior secondary comprises Years 11 and 12.
    • Students attending special schools are allocated to either primary or secondary school on the basis of year level or school level, where identified. Where the year level or school level is not identified, students are allocated to primary or secondary school level according to the typical age level in each state or territory. See Glossary for definition of special schools.
    • Categories used in tables and graphs showing "school sector" are "government", "Catholic" and "independent". In some tables, the category "total non-government" (total of Catholic and independent data) is also used.
    • In Schools Australia, and in this publication, Catholic independent/non-systemic schools are counted as Catholic rather than as independent
    • All students = Full-time students + part-time students.
    • Part-time students account for less than one per cent of total enrolments and are mostly in Years 11 or 12.
    • In 2018 to 2020, a proportion of South Australian government students undertook a study load greater than 1 full-time equivalent (FTE) load. The study load component which exceeds 1.0 FTE for a single student has been excluded from these data.
    • In 2020 there were 234 (91 in 2018, 128 in 2019) students whose biological sex was reported as neither male nor female. In order to protect the confidentiality of these students the ABS has randomly assigned them to have either a male or female status. This approach aligns with the United Nations Statistical Division 2010, Handbook on Population and Housing Census Editing, Revision 1, (Sections 346-347).

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

See Glossary for definitions of school level, school sector, special school and full-time equivalent (FTE) and for further information on the NSSC.

This information relates to Part 1 of the National Report on Schooling in Australia.

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