Almost 700,000 students will enrol in Australia in the next eight years resulting in an additional 1700 schools being built.
A report in The Australian, “Schools to chalk up massive growth” indicated that the federal Department of Education is expecting an additional 670,000 students by 2020.
The majority (520,000) will be in primary schools with the Independent Schools Council of Australia predicting that more than 1700 schools will need to be built. While government schools will enrol most of the new primary students, the department expects the trend of growing numbers of student attending independent schools for their secondary education to continue.
Almost 350,000 primary students are expected to enter government schools, equivalent to about 1000 new schools, compared with 100,000 in Catholic primary schools, requiring an extra 237 schools, and 76,000 in independent schools, requiring an extra 155 schools.
The department expects fewer than 20,000 additional students in government high schools compared with 47,000 extra students in Catholic schools but more than 80,000 more secondary pupils in the independent sector. An extra 320 independent schools – a third more – will be required if the sector's share of students remains constant.
Average enrolment in independent schools had almost doubled over the past two decades from approximately 273 in 1980 to approximately 491 today but independent schools have smaller class sizes than Catholic or government schools.
Need for 1700 more schools, says report (Education Review)