Media release #2

For immediate release on Wednesday 12 August 2009



Information released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) on the 30th of June 2009, indicates a decrease in the number of Australian students attending government schools.

National data collected in relation to education and training between the period 1998-2008 points to a steady decline in government school enrolments. Government schools, as defined by the ABS are “ … administered by the Department of Education under the Director-General of Education (or equivalent) in each state or territory.”

In the ten-year period, the number of full-time Australian school students increased from 3,199,000 in 1998, to 3,434,000 in 2008. Despite this rise, the number of students in government schools dropped by 4.1 per cent.

The reduction in enrolment is evident across all Australian states and territories. The greatest decrease can be seen in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT), where a 6.8 per cent fall was recorded.

Over the decade, Western Australia (WA) has experienced a 6.2 per cent decline, followed closely by South Australia (SA) with a 6.1 per cent decline.

The state with the least negative trend was Victoria, with only 2.4 per cent of students turning away from government schools.

ABS data reveals that each year, the number of students attending government schools is declining at an increasing rate.


Annie Lyon
Ph. (04) 21933449 or (07) 55690338

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