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Number of enrolments in government schools (1848-2022)

This dataset includes the number of enrolments in NSW government schools from 1848 to 2022.

Data Notes:

  • Since 1993, some students have enrolled part-time. All enrolments are reported in full-time equivalent (FTE) units and include full-time and part-time students.

  • Student enrolments are rounded to the nearest whole number.

  • From 1881 to 1907, primary enrolments relate to students undertaking ordinary public school courses. However, post-primary pupils in superior public schools are included in the primary figures. Primary correspondence school (later distance education centres) pupils are also included from 1938, and the school of the air pupils from 1976.

  • From 1938, post-primary enrolments relate to student undertaking post-primary courses in high, intermediate high, district, junior high, central, superior public schools and correspondence school (later distance education centres). Pupils undertaking post- primary courses in small primary schools are also included. Evening continuation school pupils are not included.

  • For the period from 1881 to 1907 it has not been possible to isolate the number of post-primary pupils in superior public schools and consequently they are included under primary enrolments. This is the reason for the large jump in post-primary enrolments in 1908.

  • From 1962 to 1983, all pupils in special schools or classes (except those in some community care schools who were not counted until 1981) are included as appropriate in the primary or post-primary figures and in the total. Since 1984, students in Schools for Special Purposes have been counted separately. Prior to 1962 it was difficult to ascertain if these pupils are included. Children in hospital schools and schools for the physically and intellectually disabled are sometimes included in the primary figures during the late 1950s, but physically and intellectually disabled children in special classes in ordinary schools are included from the late 1940s.

  • The enrolment figures between 1848 to 1918 are for the December quarter, with those for 1848 to 1851 and 1866 being estimates. From 1919 the annual census figures are used resulting in a sharp drop in primary and rise in post-primary enrolments in 1919. Pupils from the ACT are included until 1973, at which date they numbered 30,457.

Data source:

Data and Resources


Additional Info

Field Value
Title Number of enrolments in government schools (1848-2022)
Type Dataset
Language eng
Licence License Not Specified
Data Status active
Landing Page https://data.nsw.gov.au/data/dataset/a711ea2a-d1d6-48fd-9a21-8b50f2a7316a
Date Published 2018-04-12
Date Updated 2024-06-26
Contact Point
NSW Department of Education
Data Services <data.services@det.nsw.edu.au>
Temporal Coverage 1848-01-01 - 2022-12-31
Geospatial Coverage NSW81093: New South Wales
Jurisdiction New South Wales
Data Portal Data.NSW
Publisher/Agency NSW Department of Education