The Australian Bureau of Statistics have recently released their Schools, Australia, 2016 Report
As we have been reporting from our meetings with local Principal groups there are both positives and challenges for Catholic schools:
The Apparent Retention Rate for Year 7/8 to Year 12 in government schools rose from 81.8% to 82.5%, while the rate for Catholic schools remained steady at 83.8% and the Independent rate fell from 91.5% in 2015 to 90.5% in 2016.
Government primary schools increased by 7, government secondary schools increased by 3, while the number of combined schools fell by 15. The number of Catholic schools increased by 1, to 1,738, while Independent schools increased by 14, to 1,042.
In 2016, the share of national student enrolments at the affiliation level showed that the Government share increased from 65.2% in 2015 to 65.4% in 2016. This was balanced by the Catholic share of enrolments dropping to 20.2%, down from 20.4% in 2015. The Independent enrolment share remained steady at 14.4%.
Of the states and territories, the Australian Capital Territory and South Australia showed the most significant annual changes in the enrolled number of students by affiliation. In the ACT, total enrolments increased by 2.3%, however, by affiliation, Government enrolments increased by 4.0% while Catholic enrolments fell by 1.3%. South Australia reported an increase in total enrolments of 0.5% with Government enrolments increasing by 1.3% and Catholic enrolments falling by 2.2%. Independent enrolments in SA showed a slight increase of 0.5% on the 2015 figure.