If your children are starting or returning to school now, they are part of a group that makes up around one seventh of the Australian population.
According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), around 3.8 million people were enrolled in school in 2016. About 65% of these were at Government schools. In addition, around 331,000 children aged 4-5 years were enrolled in a preschool program.
They were taught or assisted by about 309,000 teaching staff, 14,000 specialist support staff, and 157,000 other staff.
In 2015-16, households in Australia spent 3.1% of their weekly expenditure on education. This has grown from 2.5% in 2009-10, the previous census period. Most of the expenditure was for school education (2.1%), and the rest was for tertiary and vocational education (1.0%).
According to children’s education charity The Smith Family, school expenses for one child at primary school cost parents upwards of $2,000 a year. This is an estimate based on education items including uniforms, shoes, schoolbag, books and stationery items, plus school lunches, school fees and access to technology for one year.
As for students finishing school, ABS data shows 59% of school leavers from 2016 were enrolled in further study in May 2017. About half of those were also employed at that time.
About 179,000 people aged 15-24 were enrolled in a technical or further education institution (such as a TAFE), while roughly 684,000 were enrolled in a University or other Tertiary institution.