Media release – ABS data shows parents continue to choose Independent schools

15 February 2023

Figures released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics show that more children are enrolled in Independent schools than ever before.

The ABS data shows that enrolments in Independent schools rose by 3.3 per cent in 2022.

According to the ABS, Independent school student numbers grew by an additional 20,521 students in 2022 to 640,850 full-time equivalent (FTE) students. This is despite Australia experiencing population growth of 0.3 per cent in 2022, the lowest in more than two decades.

Independent Schools Australia (ISA) Chief Executive Officer, Carolyn Grantskalns, said, “Independent schools firmly believe that every parent has the right to choose the school that best fits their child and their family. The Independent sector has been Australia’s fastest growing school sector for more than a decade, with the latest figure of 3.3 per cent continuing that trend.

“The past two years have shown the highest enrolment growth since 2009,” she said.

The 2022 figures show that Independent schools enrol 15.9 per cent of all Australian school students, and 19.9 per cent of all secondary enrolments.

One area of strong growth in 2022 was enrolments of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students, which increased by 1,045 students or 6.6 per cent. This is the highest growth across any school sector in the past 13 years.

Additional analysis by Independent Schools Australia shows that there was enrolment growth in Independent schools across all fee levels, with the strongest growth in low fee Independent schools.

ISA is the peak body representing 1,209 Independent schools.

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