Media release: Increasing confidence in Independent schools

19 February 2021

New ABS statistics show parents continue to show confidence in Independent schools.

The latest figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics released today show that the Independent school sector recorded its strongest growth in more than 10 years in 2020.

Independent Schools Australia (ISA) Chief Executive Officer, Margery Evans, said that, “Despite the challenges faced by all schools across all sectors in 2020 from COVID-19, Australian parents continued to choose Independent schools for their children. In 2020 Independent school student numbers grew by nearly 15,000.”

Independent schools have been Australia’s fastest growing school sector over the last decade, with the latest figure of a 2.6 per cent growth in full time equivalent enrolments being the sector’s highest since 2008. The 2020 figures show that Independent schools enrol 15.0 per cent of all Australian school students, and 19.1 per cent of all secondary enrolments.

Ms Evans added that, “In 2020, the Independent school sector’s high rate of growth in enrolments of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander continued at 7.6 per cent, the highest growth across any sector over the last five years.”

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 (below $6,000 per annum) Independent schools.


ISA is the peak body representing 1,187 Independent schools with 667,259 enrolled students.

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