ACARA news, April 2023

National Report on Schooling data portal updated

12 April 2023

ACARA has today released new data on schooling including student and staff numbers, school finances and teacher education information on the interactive National Report on Schooling data portal

For the first time, this includes information on school attendance rates by socio educational advantage, which shows an increasing gap in school attendance between the lowest and highest advantaged students.    

Student attendance data since 2018 shows a 5.1 percentage point gap between attendance rates for students from the lowest socio-educational advantage (SEA) quarter (83.7%) compared to students from the highest SEA quarter (88.8%). This gap has widened considerably since 2018 when the gap was 3.6 percentage points (90.1% and 93.7%). 

Analysis of the student and staff numbers shows increases in teaching staff in independent (3.7%) and government schools (0.3%) with corresponding decreases in student-teacher ratios in both sectors (government down from 13.6 students per teacher in 2021 to 13.4 in 2022; independent down from 11.8 to 11.7). The Catholic sector student-teacher ratio remains static at 13.6. 

School funding data shows that to 2021, total government expenditure on schools increased by 2.2%. Total government expenditure per student increased from $17,783 to $17,992. 

Teacher education and training showed encouraging growth in both enrolments and course completions. The total number of teacher training course completions increased by 8% to 20,624 in 2021, arresting a decline spanning 6 consecutive years. 

The national key performance measure of apparent retention of students from year 10 to year 12 dropped substantially from 81.6% in 2021 to 79%. This could reflect the changes in immigration over the past few years with many overseas students having returned home immediately prior to the onset of the Covid pandemic and the rate at which students have returned still slow in 2022.  

Through the National Report on Schooling data portal, ACARA provides online access to national data on Australian schooling, including general statistics on enrolments and funding, and data on agreed key performance measures for schooling.   

In most cases, the portal allows users to view and download data at the national level, by state and territory, by school sector, by calendar year and other breakdowns such as gender and Indigenous status.  

The National Report on Schooling data portal is updated twice a year with the most recent information on schooling.