Schools data is drawn from the National Schools Statistics Collection (NSSC) collected in August each year and published in Schools by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). The number of schools in Australia, by school type, school sector and state/territory is reported.
The ABS defines a school as education establishment which satisfies all of the following criteria:
its major activity is the provision of full-time day primary or secondary education or the provision of primary or secondary distance education
it is headed by a principal (or equivalent) responsible for its internal operation, and
it is possible for students to enroll for a minimum of four continuous weeks, excluding breaks for school vacations.
The Australian Schools List, maintained by ACARA, provides a quarterly update of all schools and campuses in Australia, based on data collected from the 14 Australian school registration authorities. Differences in the number of schools reported on the ASL compared to the NSSC are likely to be due to differences in the timing of the data collections, and inclusion of schools in hospitals, mission schools and similar establishments in the NSSC data, if they meet the school definition criteria.
Information about specific schools, including student attendance, school finances and NAPLAN is available on the My School website.