A significant trend in education in recent decades has been the strong growth in private school enrolments as many parents have become convinced private schools offer a better and safer school environment. Queensland Treasury’s information brief on the new ABS Schools data for 2013 last week noted:
The proportion of full-time students attending non-government schools has increased significantly in recent years, up by 4.1 percentage points since 2003. [GT: from 29.3% to 33.4%]
A large part of the increase in private school enrolments has been due to a strong increase in the primary school years (see chart below). In the last couple of years, however, enrolments appear to have plateaued across all grades, possibly because of recent cost increases or because all the households which can afford to pay private school fees (and aren’t philosophically opposed to private schools) are now sending their children to private schools. That said, it’s possible that if the economy does perform strongly over the next few years the trend towards greater private school enrolments could resume.