Schools: InBrief mid-year census 2013

This bulletin was originally published 02 July 2014.

Image: Schools: InBrief mid-year census 2013


CESE’s Schools: InBrief mid year census, 2013 bulletin summarises the results of the census of students in NSW government schools, and the census of NSW non-government schools undertaken by the Australian Government Department of Education.

The mid year census includes data on NSW Government schools (preschool, primary, secondary, central/community and special) and students (age at 1 July, grades, full-time, part-time, gender and Aboriginality).


NSW Government

Full-time equivalent (FTE) enrolments
Primary enrolments 446,848.0
Secondary enrolments 303,433.6
SSP enrolments 5,064
Total enrolments 755,345.6
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students
Total Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander enrolments 49,308.4
Percent Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander enrolments 6.5%
Part-time students
Number of part-time students 2,292
FTE enrolments 1,351.6
Preschool students
Number of preschool students 4,433
FTE enrolments 2,371.1
NSW government schools
Primary schools 1,600
Separate infants schools 17
Central/community schools 67
Secondary schools 398
Schools for specific purposes (SSPs) 113
Environmental education centres (EECs) 23
Total government schools 2,218
Preschools attached to primary/infants schools 99
Separate preschools 1
Total preschools 100

NSW non-government

Full-time equivalent (FTE) enrolments
Primary enrolments 198,397.0
Secondary enrolments 200,416.3
Total enrolments 398,813.3
NSW non-government schools
Primary schools 489
Secondary schools 145
Primary/secondary schools 238
Special schools 45
Total non-government schools 917

2013 Enrolments (FTE)

The total number of full-time equivalent students in NSW government schools increased by 7,111.5 or 1.9 per cent, from 748,234.1 in 2012 to 755,345.6 in 2013. Since 2008 enrolments in Years 11 and 12 have been rising and now represent 110 per cent of 2001 enrolments. This is largely due to the raising of the school leaving age in 2010. Primary enrolment increased by 8,167 in 2013, nearly double the increase of 4,808 enrolments in 2012. In contrast secondary enrolments continued to decline, decreasing by 1,198 in 2013.

Enrolments (FTE) by statistical area

All Sydney statistical areas experienced an increase in enrolments in 2013. Sydney - North Sydney and Hornsby saw the largest growth in student number. The Mid-North Coast experienced the largest decline in 2013, down by 278.3 enrolments, with secondary enrolments accounting for the entire decrease. Apart from the statistical areas of Central West, Hunter Valley excluding Newcastle, Newcastle and Lake Macquarie and Riverina, all non-Sydney statistical areas showed a decrease in enrolments.

Aboriginal enrolments (FTE)

Enrolments of Aboriginal students have increased by 2,221.6 from 47,086.8 in 2012 to 49,308.4 in 2013. The Hunter Valley excluding Newcastle saw the largest increase of 241.4 students, from 2,615.2 in 2012 to 2,856.6 in 2013. Sydney - Outer West and Blue Mountains and Sydney - Other South West have the highest Aboriginal enrolments out of the Sydney statistical areas, 4.6 per cent and 4.3 per cent respectively. In contrast, Sydney - North Sydney and Hornsby, Sydney - Northern Beaches and Sydney - Ryde all had less than 0.4 per cent of NSW Aboriginal enrolments.

Growth in enrolments (FTE) at government and non-government schools

In 2013, total NSW school enrolments increased sharply by 15,169 enrolments from 2012. Government schools contributed almost half the increase of NSW school enrolments, 7,112, while non-government schools increased by 8,057. Government enrolment growth has been lower each year than the enrolment growth of non- government schools. The one exception was in 2010 when government enrolment increased by 5,494, almost double the non-government increase of 2,767 enrolments.

Government enrolment share (FTE)

The 2013 secondary enrolment share continues its long-term decline, falling by 0.6 percentage points from 61.1 per cent in 2012 to 60.5 per cent in 2013. Junior secondary contributed most to the decrease in secondary enrolment share, declining by 0.7 percentage points in 2013 while senior secondary declined by 0.3 percentage points. NSW government enrolment share by education level. Primary enrolment share has remained constant since 2008 and is generally 7 to 8 percentage points higher than secondary enrolment share. However within primary education, the Kindergarten to Year 2 and Year 3 to Year 6 enrolment share in 2013 continued the diverging trend first observed in 2006. Kindergarten to Year 2 enrolment share rose from 70.1 per cent in 2012 to 70.2 per cent in 2013, while Year 3 to Year 6 declined from 68.8 per cent in 2012 to 68.6 per cent in 2013.

Apparent retention rate

In 2013 the apparent retention rate from Year 7 to Year 11 continued its upward trend, increasing by 1.7 percentage points from 89.6 per cent in 2012 to 91.3 per cent in 2013. Since 2008, the rate has increased by 12.5 percentage points, with 2013 being the first time that the rate has risen above 90.0 per cent. The apparent retention rate from Year 7 to Year 12 rose by 2.3 percentage points, from 72.0 per cent in 2012 to 74.3 per cent in 2013. The apparent retention rate from Year 10 to Year 12 increased by 0.4 percentage points from 72.2 per cent in 2012 to 72.6 per cent in 2013.

Government and non-government schools

The number of non-government schools offering primary education has remained stable in 2013, while schools offering secondary education increased by one in 2013. For government schools, the number of schools offering primary education decreased by five from 1,689 in 2012 to 1,684 in 2013, while schools offering secondary education was unchanged.

Government preschool

Enrolments in government preschools increased slightly from 4,424 in 2012 to 4,433 in 2013. FTE enrolments fell by 89.6 (3.6 percentage points) from 2,460.7 in 2012 to 2,371.1 in 2013. Aboriginal preschool enrolments have fallen by 44 students (7.3 percentage points), from 599 in 2012 to 555 in 2013. FTE enrolments also fell in 2013 by 52.9, with the percentage of Aboriginal FTE enrolments as a total of all preschool FTE enrolments declining by 1.6 percentage points from 15.4 per cent in 2012 to 13.8 per cent in 2013.

Early intervention preschool children

Enrolments in early intervention classes fell by 59 students from 743 in 2012 to 684 in 2013.

For more information

To access data on NSW government school student attendance, visit the NSW Education Data Hub.
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