ACARA news, April 2024

New course 'Australian Curriculum, Version 9.0: Developing a deeper understanding' now live

30 April 2024

A new course – ‘Australian Curriculum Version 9.0: Developing a deeper understanding’ – is now live on ACARA’s Professional Learning Hub.

This course has been designed to support teachers across the 8 Learning areas and explores connections between strands and sub-strands. Making connections helps teachers to develop flexible programs which give students meaningful learning experiences that meet their needs and abilities.

Key highlights include: 

  • Each learning area is structured into strands with essential learning.
  • In some learning areas, the strands are further organised into sub-strands that are either discipline-specific or interdisciplinary.
  • Teachers can explore relevant connections, ideas and concepts across strands and how they influence each other to help with students’ learning.
  • On the Australian Curriculum, Version 9.0 website, the achievement standard statements identify related content descriptions. Teachers can make additional connections between content descriptions to deliver content in a way that best suits their students’ needs. 
To find out more visit ACARA's Professional Learning Hub.

New data on schools and students in Australia released

23 April 2024
New data on schools and students in Australia has been released by ACARA as part of the National Report on Schooling in Australia 2023.
The two new chapters published cover information on schools and schooling, student enrolment and retention.  
The National Report on Schooling in Australia 2023 is being progressively released, providing more timely commentary on progress against nationally agreed policy initiatives by Australia’s school education sector as the data becomes available. 
The key highlights in this release include: 


  • There were 9,629 schools in Australia, an overall increase of 15 schools since 2022, of which 69.7% of schools were government, 18.3% were Catholic and 12.0% independent.

Student enrolment 

  • A total of 4,086,998 students were enrolled in Australian schools, an increase of 1.1% from 2022.  
  • 64.0% were enrolled in government schools, 19.7% in Catholic schools and 16.3% in independent schools.  
  • 55.3% were primary school students and 44.7% were in secondary school. 
  • Over the past decade, total enrolments grew by 441,479 (12.1%) which largely reflects the growth in the school-age population. 
  • The number of students in independent schools rose from 521,436 in 2013 to 666,581 in 2023 – a 27.8% increase. This has resulted in a 2.0 percentage point increase in the proportion of students attending independent schools since 2013.  
  • In 2023, the proportion of 6–15-year-olds enrolled in Australian schools was 98.6% – the same as in 2022, but down from 99.0% in 2021 (data from the National Schools Statistics Collection).

Teaching staff numbers 

  • There were 311,655 full time equivalent (FTE) teaching staff in Australia — an increase of 4,427 (1.4%) from 2022.  
  • Teaching staff numbers included 62.6% employed in government schools, 19.3% in Catholic schools and 18.2% in independent schools. 
  • Australia’s teaching workforce continued to be mainly female, with women making up 71.9% of FTE teachers in 2023. 
  • The average student to teaching staff ratio was 13.1 students per teacher, the same as in 2022 and a reduction from 13.3 students per teacher in 2021. 
  • The average student to teaching staff ratio was lower in independent schools (11.8 students per teacher) compared to Catholic and government schools (13.4 students per teacher). 
  • The average student-teacher ratio was 11.8 students per teacher at the secondary level, compared with 14.3 students per teacher at the primary level.
The next release in June 2024 will provide an overview of progress against the commitments to action agreed by Australian Education ministers in the Alice Springs (Mparntwe) declaration. The chapters on Vocational Education and Training and Student Attainment will be released in December 2024, and the school funding chapters, along with the full national report, will be released in February 2025.