National Education Report: A Snapshot of Schools in Australia in 2013

Tuesday, March 05, 2013

National Education Report | A Snapshot of Schools in Australia in 2013 | McCrindle ResearchAustralians are more educated today than they have been at any other point in history. The number of students completing undergraduate and postgraduate courses today is on the rise and for the first time in Australian history more than half the population aged 15-64 have a post-secondary qualification (51%). Over 70% of the newest wave of high school graduates, Australia’s 4.6 million Generation Zs, are pursuing further education and training, with almost half going on to university. How is today’s education system providing for this Generation of lifelong learners? Here is a snapshot of current and future trends in primary and secondary schools across Australia.

Click here to download the full report.


Students Today


At the beginning of the 2012 school year, there were 3,589,986 students enrolled in Australian schools. This is a 1.4% increase from enrolments in the previous year, and a significant 5.5% increase from 2006. From 2011-2012, most of these increases were attributed to growing enrolment of students in primary schools (2.0% increase). The largest increase in student numbers across Australia occurred in Queensland (2.1%) and the only decrease across the states was found in Tasmania (ABS cat. 4221.0, Schools, 2012).

From primary schools through to the early years of secondary schools, there is a fairly constant proportion of male versus female students, with the proportion of male students two percent higher than females. In Year 11 this trend reverses, and by Year 12, there are are 3% more female students. This trend continues into higher education where there are a higher proportion of females than males completing undergraduate and postgraduate qualifications (ABS Census 2011).


Public versus Private Education


Since the 1970s there has been a significant rise in the proportion of students enrolling in non-government schools. Whereas non-government schools educated only 22% of all students in 1970, by 2012 that figure had risen to 35% (ISCA, 2012). The fact that more than 2 in 5 high school students are sent to Independent non-government schools is part of a broader trend towards paying for services which were once government provisions. From private hospitals to the privatization of public transport options and even the growth of toll roads, Australians are increasingly likely to pay for something that they value.

In 2012, in continuation with trends from previous year, Independent schools continued to observe the greatest proportional increase of student enrolment. While government schools continue to educate the majority of Australian students (2,342,379 students, that is 65%), there were 736,595 students (21%) enrolled in Catholic schools and 511,012 students (14%) enrolled in the Independent school sector.

The percentage of students enrolled in government schools in 2012 was greatest in the Northern Territory, where 73.6% of all students attend government schools, and least in the ACT, where just over half (57.3%) of students attend government schools. Australians value choice, and today’s parents are prepared to pay for an education if they feel it will align more closely with their values, expectations, and aspirations.


Schools: Bricks and Mortar


In 2011 there were 9,435 schools in Australia, including primary, secondary, combined and special schools. 71% of these were government schools (6,705), 18% were Catholic schools (1.710) and 11% were Independent schools (1,020). Most independent schools (84%) have a religious affiliation with 75.1% being Christian and 9% a religious affiliation other than Christianity. The remainder of independent schools comprise of special schools, international schools, indigenous schools, and community schools (ABS cat. 4221.1, Schools, Australia 2011; ISCA, Snapshot, 2012).

The greatest proportion of independent schools was in Western Australia (13%) and the least in Victoria (9%). The proportion of Catholic schools varied more significantly, with the greatest proportion of Catholic schools in the ACT (23%) and the least in the Northern Territory (8%).

While the total number of students across all sectors has increased in a generation, the proportion of Independent and Catholic schools in Australia is increasing. In 2001, Catholic and Independent schools made up 27.7% of total schools in Australia. Ten years later, in 2011, they made up 28.9% of schools. Since 1985, the increase in students at independent schools has grown by 5 times the increase in government schools (298,844 compared to 64,152). Since 1985 the Australian population has increased more than 40%, and the number of babies born is breaking new records (now exceeding 300,000 per year). This has resulted in a growth of students in schools at all levels and across all sectors.

The figures above represent the percentage of primary, secondary, combined and special schools within Australia. Combining government and non-government schools, there were 6312 primary schools, 1397 secondary schools, 1306 combined schools, and 420 special schools around the country. Of these, 77% of primary schools, 73% of secondary schools, and 79% of special schools belonged to the government sector. In contrast to this, a significant 61% of combined schools were a part of the non-government sector.


Teachers: Education’s Lifeblood


The challenge for the education sector, which has an ageing workforce, is to attract and retain Generation Y teachers. The top 5 attraction and retention factors that Gen Y want are what schools have to offer, but schools need to get better at communicating these. These factors are work-life balance, a social workplace culture, a varied and interesting job description, career progression opportunities and ongoing training. In 2011, there were 255,110 full-time equivalent teaching staff over primary and secondary schools in Australia. Of these, 165,272 (65%) were government school teaching staff, 48 393 (19.0%) were Catholic school teaching staff, and 41,445 (16%) were independent school teaching staff.

Australia’s teaching staff are predominantly female (65%). The ratio of male to female teachers has decreased over the last 15 years. In 1997, 7 out of every 20 teachers was male. By 2011, the number of male teachers had dropped to 6 out of every 20 teachers. Government schools have a lower percentage of male teachers (28.7%) compared to Catholic schools (30.6%) and Independent schools (36.2%).

There are significantly more male teachers at secondary levels of education that at primary. In government primary schools in 2011, 19% of staff were male, and in non-government primary schools, 20% of staff were male. In government secondary schools, 40.8% of teaching staff were male; in non-government secondary schools, 43.2% were male (ABS cat. 4221.0 Schools, Australia, 2011).


Student-Teacher Ratio on Decline


Between 1997 and 2011, we have seen an 18.8% increase in the total number of FTE teaching staff. This increase in teacher staffing corresponds with a decrease in the teacher to student ratio in both government and non-government schools. The national average FTE student-teacher ratio in both secondary and primary schools during 2011 was 13.8. Across all primary schools, this ratio was 15.6, with a ratio of 15.3 in government schools, 17.5 in Catholic schools, and 14.8 in Independent schools.

The student-teacher ratio was slightly lower in secondary schools, with a 12.0 ratio across the board. Independent schools again had the lowest ratio at 10.4 FTE teaching staff per student, whereas the Catholic schools had 12.8 and government schools 12.2 (ABS cat. 4221.0, 2011).

The education offered by Australian schools is internationally regarded as one of the world’s best. Additionally, teachers in Australia have been amongst the most innovative professionals in responding to the technological and generational shifts Australia has experienced over the last 3 decades. The strengths and challenges, however, maintaining a world-class, relevant, and technologically innovative education system for the decades ahead.

Click here to download the full report.

For more information or media comment, call Mark McCrindle on 0411 5000 90 or Eliane Miles at eliane@mccrindle.com.au, 02 8824 3422.

Welcome to our blog...

We have a passion for research that tells a story, that can be presented visually, that brings about change and improves organisations. And we hope these resources help you know the times.

Our Social Media Sites

Facebook | McCrindle Research Social Media YouTube | McCrindle Research Social Media Twitter | McCrindle Research Social Media Flickr | McCrindle Research Social Media Pinterest | McCrindle Research Social Media Google Plus | McCrindle Research Social Media LinkedIn | McCrindle Research Social Media Mark McCrindle Slideshare


Last 150 Articles


Tags

daily telegraph education future report IT Specialists learn sydneysiders states authenticity perth social impact Love Vocational education parenting optus my business awards workplace culture Crime Rates rental stress retirement Tuesday Trends intern megatrends REIV National Conference System's Architect crows nest office opening lifestyle know the times conference sentiments presentation VET generation alpha resource wealth distribution investor ashley fell group sydneycity couple list increasing densification post rationalism 1980 baby boomers greatness sydney metro 2015 Real Estate the australian dream commuters Do It Yourself university degree Territory stay home baby boom wolloomooloo trend tuesday baby names australia report world youth day future of education learning styles social Financial Planning Association of Australia bus REIV Conference social trends friendship Wodonga gen z poor teaching life owning a home presentations demographer entertainment micro apartments rent group session hills shire future of shopping results kate middleton workplace alpha darwin sunburnt country financial independence mother's day purpose conference presentation social change moreton bay cost personal growth social enquiry ipswich organisations proactive online shopping research data prince george school satisfaction huffington post brands report etiquette Tuesday Trend PSI publication social commentary norwest going out royal baby research visualisation sector wide study townhouses customer happiness CPI divorce learner Australian Home Aussies city spirituality marrickville learning thrive 2013 hopes Christchurch investment wealth and income teacher easy rider healthy future career thought leadership cost of living social researchers recap Hills Shire Council social life SRE australia Mark McCrindle sydneysider real schools socialites Financial Planning Association focus group skills emerging trends nfp cold logan demographics average sydneysider Geoff Brailey australian communities trends report future proof social research housing growth Tasmania resilience families internships father's day Western Australia community event baby keynote speaker The ABC of XYZ WA Engineering Manager budget cloudy days local communities mythbusting gold coast financial dreams belief child care summer affordability case study ABS social issues business index year 7 suburbs tv area water Research Executive Sydney sydney speaker population insights mining boom future employment Adelaide experience NSW the changing face of Valentine’s Day millenials urban taskforce students priorities DIY faux-ciliser housing sunny days tea growing population toys Christmas lunch consumerism Australian Bureau of Statistics Gen X population milestone pharmacy video educated Northern Beaches Christian School middle class Royals schools students digital research services identity trends of 2016 wealth Merry Christmas royal family Charlotte sustainable community engagement demographic transformations New South Wales FOMO renter of the future forecast careers market research define high density public speaking volunteers monarchy weekly earnings church public speaker earnings futurist fears anzac men future of work facts school students generations "know the times" ACT media commentary Channel 7 Australian communities train 23 million new office Christmas season not-for-profit high density apartments ageing society trends narcissism divorce rate apartments speakers wedding ultimo 2017 newspaper curiosity education research social commentator Generation X non profit generation meals debt Australian Families ferry society christian online women socialising responsive repayments princess charlotte cultural diversity Australian schools wages youth unemployment moderators guide selfie meetings Word Up 1975 urban australians staying home more suburban living media Kirsten Brewer motivate woolworths Kiwi sydney hills technology grandparents Australians data analyst year 12 sector sports house prices unemployment teach spend New Zeland DESTEL paying to work victoria small business optimistic Assistant Store Manager medicine employers media activity 10 years contiki safe award winner forum NT work-life insight staff house price rise impact mobile #censusfail goal research pack demographic trends Melbourne aussie culture rule keeper Caregiver trades faux-cilise cars Australian Trends local balance communicate twentyseventeen mccrindle tea 2016 census results economy Northern Territory financial celebration demography ethnography wage 2014 young australians earning friends unaffordable rising house prices eliane high density living Financial Planning Week educhat growth Hornsby Shire Council Sydney keynote speaker sector wide bondi mortgage charity breakfast census 2016 buildings communities Australian demographics wealth and income distribution work visualisation participants google for education typical australian challenge jobs family salary trends of 2017 Australian Population housing trends average aussie education future marketing social analysis brisbane parents SMSF ageing population workforce business performance teleworking menai government click storytelling financial future tuesday grave decision professional development Queensland: QLD Deaths Real Estate Institute of Victoria conferences SA gen alpha data cancelling event cica Work place politics NBRS eliane miles mccrindle research Births Canberra jobs of the future relational Res Vis deloitte language baby name population map school survey design innovative study financial fears renting property daily commute mccrindle in the media work mates mentor consumer pyrmont professional religion environmental scanning housing market micro cash EFF the average aussie debate workshop home owner millennials sydney event geomapping national wealth panel teachers sun royal influence 2020 snapshot dessert baby names report litter Generation Y shopping centre product cancel plans commute food world national crime rates Aussie trends tattoos World Water Day English names google global generations home easter innovation changing face of sydney fresh data visualisation engagement hobart low density ashley mckenzie shifts apartment national private wealth builders brand living survey clothing education sector potts point plans earn shbc australian social research christmas Wellington Andrew Duffin VIC Gen Y outsourcing census fail Skilling capital cities households tips wellbeing trend demographic entrepreneurs of today news in the media 24 million organisational culture crime James Ward generation Z house price keynote Netflix social lives holidays youth university Queensland overcast ACF culturally diverse baby name trends seasons Population Clock New Zealand baby names 40 million annual income events engage internet SMART urban living rain office business state gender waverton household high school future-proof the hills NEETs baby name predictions winter average Australian travelling collaborative in depth interviews future proofing HSC Australia Day 2017 aged care puzzle stats TDE local community omnibus education tertiary education TAS researcher acf15 Australian Dream mccrindle analysis pharmacies car entrepreneur FPA GPO holiday staying in South Australia Australia Day economic marriage culture suburb faith rich 1994 census emerging technologies infographic goals property price Sydney Hills Business Chamber criminal affordable internship vegetarian aged care capital city ease of travel trends analyst story Social Trend vegemite social researcher global population growth generational trends census results 1968 change home ownership Macquarie University weather australian communities forum CBD graphs investing qualitative research Education Future Forum Myth infographic wall property market Christmas presents communication cooking bureau social media mover and shaker 2012 event travel energy forecasting new york times follow offenders urban living index land of the middle class January 26th the hills shire tableau residents lalor park leader cartodb visual millionth Australian Census neutral bay housing affordability community training environment mythbusters research student entrepreneurial emerging generations leadership rise of local slideshare brand experience children young people relevant long weekend blaxland quote christianity award 24,000,000 ACF 2016 2016 social shifts February 16 village hello fresh manly Channel Seven conference speaker hornsby 2016 census Northern beaches Event poker master dreaming shopping cancelling plans ideas global financial crisis public holiday interactive Scouts coffee professional services winter blues optus office space Wagga Wagga cultural diveristy NBRS Architecture dare to dream research report McCrindle Speakers program personalities Northern Beaches royal shopper's pick professional speaker finance collaboration Duchess of Cambridge The Daily Edition marriages census data statistics house Bathburst not for profit JOMO faux-cilising leadership workshop media release mateship transport communications Australian Communities Trends VET sector focus groups supply and demand equip domestic networking income dream

Archive