New enrolment figures for NSW government schools show enrolments continuing to rise at a rate of about 8,500 a year as more families recognise the appeal of well-resourced, high quality public education.
Enrolments at public primary schools have increased for the ninth year in a row and government secondary school enrolments have grown for the first time since 2011.
Education Minister Rob Stokes said the figures released today from the 2017 mid-year census published by the NSW Centre for Education Statistics and Evaluation (CESE) were very encouraging.
“It proves that parents are recognising the value of having their children taught at their local government school when they are making choices about their family’s future,” Mr Stokes said.
“Their confidence in public education is testimony to the professionalism and dedication of the teachers and school leadership in our schools.”
In the past five years NSW government school enrolments have risen by more than 8,500 students a year on average. Government school enrolment growth has exceeded that in the non-government sector, with its overall enrolment share increasing by 0.1% to 65.5% last year.
Mr Stokes said the appeal of NSW government schools has been bolstered by record funding under the Gonski agreement and unprecedented investment in school infrastructure – both only possible due to the strong economic management delivered by the NSW Liberals & Nationals.
“Our strong investment in public education has successfully reversed the decline under Labor when total enrolments declined by nearly 20,000 students,” Mr Stokes said.
“So much of the evaluation of our schools is quantitative, however this reversal shows parents are making up their own minds about the quality of our public schools,” he said.
“Our strong economic management means we can afford to invest in public education, including the historic $4.2 billion investment over four years towards building and upgrading 120 schools,” Mr Stokes said.
Full details of the census are available on the CESE website.