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Public education keeps growing in NSW

Enrolments in NSW government schools have grown for the 10th year in a row.

Primary school children standing on play equipment raising their hands above their head.

Record enrolment growth in NSW public schools.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics’ report Schools Australia 2018 shows enrolments in NSW government schools rose by nearly 7,000 full-time students to 796,769 students, an increase of 0.9% from 2017.

Enrolments of primary students rose by 1.3%, Years 7 to 10 rose by 1.4%, and Aboriginal enrolments rose 4.6%. Year 11 and 12 enrolments fell 3.1%, continuing a downward trend since 2014.

The NSW government schools share of all school enrolments rose from 65.4% in 2017 to 65.5% in 2018.

The report’s statistics also show:

  • in August 2018 there were 2,149 government schools in NSW, made up of 1,605 primary schools, 369 secondary schools, 65 Central schools and 110 Schools for Specific Purposes (SSPs)
  • the NSW government school primary student enrolment share rose for the fifth year in a row, by 0.1 percentage points to 70.3%
  • despite increasing enrolments, the secondary student share fell by 0.1 percentage point to 58.9%
  • the full-time apparent retention rate (ARR) for all students in NSW government schools decreased – by 1.2 percentage points to 74.4% for Year 7 to 12 and by 1.6 percentage points to 71.4% for Year 10 to 12, although the latter figure is still 3.8 percentage points higher than in 2008 before the new school leaving age
  • the growth in Aboriginal student enrolments across the year groups K–2, 3–6, 7–10 and 11-12 is consistent with growth over the past 10 years.

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