Every year, CESE publishes a snapshot of data collected across NSW government schools. The 2017 statistical bulletin presents tables and charts on school characteristics, student enrolments, attendance rates and more.
• In August 2017, there were 2,209 government schools and 100 preschools.
• The average class size for Kindergarten to Year 6 was 24.1 students.
• Total enrolments reached 791,039.8 full-time equivalent students, continuing the rising trend which began in 2008.
• 1,930 students were studying part-time, equivalent to 1206.8 full-time students.
• 24,391 students were enrolled in support classes or schools for specific purposes.
• 2679.6 students were enrolled in distance education.
• 7.5% of students identified as Aboriginal, totalling 59,214.2 students.
• 34.2% of students (272,401 students) were from a language background other than English.
• 80,222 primary students studied a language other than English, with Chinese (Mandarin) the most popular language.
• Japanese was the most popular language studied by students in Years 7 to 9, at 25,472 students.
• The Year 7 to 12 apparent retention rate was 77.4 per cent in 2017, the highest rate recorded.
• 38,774 students were awarded an HSC in 2017, including 1,222 Aboriginal students.
• The average attendance rate was 91.3% in 2017.
A series of summary tables (PDF, 114kb) on government-funded Vocational Education and Training (VET) students in NSW from 2012-2016.
This class size bulletin (PDF, 435kB) presents analysis of average class sizes in primary schools and shows results by remoteness, school size and Family Occupation and Education Index (FOEI) bands. It also reports on the number and proportions of multi-age or composite classes.
Download the 2017 attendance bulletin (PDF, 408kB).
Student attendance has been demonstrated to be linked to student academic outcomes, although the nature of the link is complex. CESE’s Government School Student Attendance 2017 (Semester 1) bulletin summarises attendance rates by:
• student level of education
• Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal students
• scholastic year and gender.
CESE’s analysis of Semester 1 2017 attendance data indicates that the average attendance rate for NSW government schools was 92.1 per cent, but varied widely across a number of contextual factors.
Attendance rate and student level of education
Primary school students’ attendance rates were, on average, 4.4 percentage points higher than secondary school students’ attendance rates. Attendance rates decreased at a slower rate in primary years (drop of 1 percentage point from Kindergarten to Year 6), than in secondary years (5 percentage points decrease between years 7 and 10).
Attendance rate and remoteness
Attendance rates were lower for students in remote and very remote schools compared to attendance rates at schools in major cities - averaging 85.6 per cent in remote and very remote areas, compared to 92.7 per cent in major cities.
Attendance rate and Aboriginal students
The gap between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal students’ attendance rate has decreased 0.7 percentage points since 2011. In 2017, the average attendance rate for Aboriginal students was 86.2 per cent and for non-Aboriginal students was 92.6 per cent. This gap was smaller for primary students (4.1 percentage points) than secondary students (10.1 percentage points). The average attendance rate for Aboriginal students at remote and very remote schools has increased by 4.3 percentage points since 2006.
Recording and monitoring student attendance allows educators to identify students who have low attendance, and are at risk of falling behind. Tracking student attendance is also a legislative requirement and part of every school’s duty of care. Attendance data is important because it provides a measure of students’ engagement – which is critical for evaluating school and student performance.
To access data on NSW government school student attendance, visit the NSW Education Data Hub.
The summary on this page is also available as a PDF. Download the 2017 attendance summary (PDF, 215kB).
The 2016 schools and students statistical bulletin (PDF, 1MB) presents tables and charts about NSW schools and students. Data is from the census of both government and non-government students, undertaken in August 2016.
The 2015 schools and students statistical bulletin (PDF, 1.7MB) presents tables and charts about NSW schools and students. Data is from the census of both government and non-government students, undertaken in August 2015.
Key findings from the NSW Long Day Care Survey 2015 (PDF, 2.3MB) presents key findings from a survey of NSW long day care centres, conducted in late 2015 by the Social Research Centre on behalf of the NSW Department of Education. It provides information on enrolment, attendance, vacancy rates, teacher qualifications and the use of the transition to school statement.
The mid-year census bulletin (PDF, 1.1MB) summarises the enrolment results of the 2016 mid-year census of students in NSW government schools, and includes tables, maps and charts. The census of non-government schools undertaken by the Australian Government Department of Education is also completed on the same day.
The mid-year census bulletin (PDF, 850kB) summarises the enrolment results of the 2015 mid-year census of students in NSW government schools, and includes tables, maps and charts. The census of non-government schools undertaken by the Australian Government Department of Education is also completed on the same day.
The 2016 attendance bulletin (PDF, 370kB) presents analysis of attendance data at NSW government schools from 2006 to 2016. Results are presented for primary and secondary students. Attendance rates are also presented for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students, remoteness, and the Family Occupation and Employment Index (FOEI) of schools.
The school student attendance bulletin (PDF, 1MB) presents analysis of attendance data at NSW government schools from 2006 to 2015. Results are presented for primary and secondary students. Attendance rates are also presented for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students, remoteness and the Family Occupation and Employment Index (FOEI) of schools.
The 2014 schools and students statistical bulletin (PDF, 1MB) presents tables and charts about NSW schools and students. Data is from the census of both government and non-government students, undertaken in August 2014.