Schools: InBrief mid-year census 2018

This bulletin was originally published 11 July 2019.

Image: Schools: InBrief mid-year census 2018


CESE’s Schools: InBrief mid year census, 2018 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, combined, special) and students (age at 1 July, grades, full time, part time, gender, and Aboriginality).


NSW government

Full-time equivalent (FTE) enrolments
Primary enrolments 491,043.0
Secondary enrolments 301,315.2
SSP enrolments 5,664.0
Total enrolments
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students
Total A&TSI enrolments 61,932.5
Percent A&TSI enrolments 7.8%
Part-time students
Number of part-time students 2,008.0
FTE enrolments 1,253.2
Preschool students
Number of preschool students 4,522.0
FTE enrolments 2,389.7
NSW government schools
Primary and infants schools 1,604
Central/community schools 66
Secondary schools 401
Schools for specific purposes (SSP) 113
Environmental education centres (EEC) 23
Total government schools 2,207
Preschool attached to primary/infants schools 99
Separate preschools 1
Total preschools 100

NSW non-government

Full-time equivalent (FTE) enrolments
Primary enrolments 208,517.2
Secondary enrolments 212,152.5
Total enrolments 420,669.7
NSW non-government schools
Primary schools 502
Secondary schools 144
Primary/secondary schools 245
Special schools 61
Total non-government schools 952

2018 enrolments

The total number of full-time equivalent students in NSW Government schools increased by 6,982.4 or 0.9%, from 791,039.8 in 2017 to 798,022.2 in 2018. Kindergarten to Year 2 enrolments have increased markedly since 2009 and now represent 111% of 2001 enrolments. Years 3 to 6 in 2018, represented 108% of 2001 enrolments. Year 7 to 10 enrolments rose by 3,147 students compared with 2017, and reached almost 99% of 2001 enrolments.

Enrolments (full-time equivalent) by ABS Statistical Area Level 4 groups

In 2018, 58.1% of government students were enrolled in schools within the Sydney area. The proportion of primary students enrolled in Sydney schools was 59.3%. Sydney-West recorded the largest growth in primary enrolments for the fourth year in a row, with an increase of 2,071 enrolments between 2017 and 2018. In 2018 the number of senior secondary enrolments fell by 2,572.6 students (3.0 percentage points) from the year prior.

Aboriginal enrolments (full-time equivalent)

In North West NSW 23.9% of students identified as Aboriginal, compared with 5.3% or less in each statistical area group in Sydney. Overall, Aboriginal student enrolments have increased by 2,718.3 students or 4.6% from 59,214.2 in 2017 to 61,932.5 in 2018. North West NSW recorded the largest increase of 762.3 Aboriginal students, from 15,175.1 in 2017 to 15,937.4 in 2018.

Government enrolment share (full-time equivalent)

Enrolment share for primary students rose slightly by 0.1 percentage points from 70.2% in 2017 to 70.3% in 2018. Despite increasing enrolments, the secondary enrolment share fell slightly from 59.1% in 2017 to 59.0% in 2018.

Government preschool

The number of children enrolled in government preschools increased by 80 children from 4,442 in 2017 to 4,522 in 2018. However, full-time equivalent enrolments decreased by 17.7, from 2,407.4 in 2017 to 2,389.7 in 2018, which indicates that some children were enrolled for fewer days in 2018.

Early intervention preschool children

Enrolments in early intervention classes increased by 11 students, from 716 in 2017 to 727 in 2018. The percentage of students enrolled in an early intervention program who were Aboriginal increased from 13.0% in 2017 to 14.7% in 2018.

Apparent retention rate

Year 7 to Year 10 retention rates have been over 100% since 2011, largely due to inter-state and international migration for students in Years 8, 9 and 10. The smallest decrease was for Year 10 to Year 11 girls, which fell from 91.5% to 91.2%. The largest decreases observed in 2018 were in Year 7 to Year 11 boys and Year 10 to Year 11 boys, which recorded drops of 2.1 and 2.0 percentage points respectively.

For more information

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