Education census data reveals more children in Western Australia are enrolling in private schools
The number of students enrolled in private schools in Western Australia has increased, while enrollment in public schools has declined.
New census data from the Department for Education revealed that 157,864 students were enrolled in private schools, up 3,710 from the same period last year.
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By comparison, public school enrollment fell to 318,332, down 1,242 students from the same period last year.
As a result, the overall market share of public schools in Western Australia fell for the second consecutive year, from 67.5 to 66.8%, after eight years of firm growth, while the overall share of private schools increased from 32.5 to 33.2%.
The drift to private schools reflects a national trend, with more families choosing independent schools over Catholic schools for their children.
A national enrollment trends report released last month by Independent Schools Australia (ISA), based on last year’s data, found the sector grew by 3.1% from 2020, compared to an increase 1.4% for Catholic schools and a decrease of 0.3%. in public schools.
This is the strongest growth in the sector in more than a decade.
ISA CEO Margary Evans Told west independent schools had experienced “significant” growth in enrollment during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We believe parents are looking for schools that can adapt quickly to changing circumstances,” she says.
“We also know that the autonomy of independent schools is something invaluable to parents. This is what the surveys we have carried out show.
“I feel like they get a little extra help academically, and the teachers are all really good at communicating.
“Our survey shows that parents recognize that independent schools have generally been quick to switch to online or distance learning.
“Parents perceive that independent schools are able to make decisions quickly in response to their particular situation and the expectations of the school community.”
Executive Director of Strategy and Policy Department of Education Rachelle Lee also blamed COVID as “a factor in the slight decrease” in WA public school enrollment.
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