National Schools Statistics Collection - Non-finance data
'Non-finance' data relate to counts of schools, school staff, and school students.
National Centre for Education and Training Statistics
Australian Bureau of Statistics, Canberra
Telephone (02) 6252 7793
The National Schools Statistics Collection (NSSC) is a collaborative arrangement between state, territory and Australian Government education departments. It is managed by the Ministerial Council on Education, Employment, Training and Youth Affairs (MCEETYA), Performance Measurement and Reporting Taskforce (PMRT), of which the ABS is a member. NSSC data can be grouped into three main areas: the finance collection; the non-finance collection; and the annual and special reporting, coordinated and published by the MCEETYA Secretariat on its official website.
The non-finance data collection is coordinated, processed and disseminated by the ABS with the detailed assistance of state and federal education departments. It provides annual, nationally comparable data for government and non-government schools in all states and territories. Information is provided on the number and characteristics of schools, students and staff. These data are derived from the annual Schools Census enumerated each August by the responsible authorities.
Establishments which have schooling as their major activity: the administration and/or provision of full-time day primary, secondary or special school education; and primary or secondary school distance education. Students at these establishments, and staff engaged in duties relating to these establishments, are also in-scope. Emergency and casual relief staff are excluded from staffing estimates.
The reference date, and Schools Census enumeration date, for the collection is the first Friday of August each year, or as near as possible to that date as determined by each administrative system. The age reference date is 1 July of the reference year, for all states and territories.
Frequency of Collection
Method of Collection
These statistics are compiled from nine separate detailed censuses enumerated annually. The government series derives from censuses conducted by the respective state and territory Departments of Education. The non-government series derives from a census conducted for the Australian Government Department of Education, Science and Training (DEST) by the schools or the systems with which they are affiliated. State and territory Departments' Census methodologies vary from accessing central administration records to direct collection of data from schools. Selected variables from these censuses are provided to the ABS, in aggregated form.
Results are usually first released, by the ABS, from late February in the year following the collection.
Schools, Australia (ABS cat. no. 4221.0).
Further data are published by MCEETYA in the annual National Report on Schooling in Australia, which is available as a free download from the MCEETYA website, http://www.mceetya.edu.au/mceetya/.
Data are available for Australia and each state and territory.
Data collected for the NSSC are available in the publication Schools, Australia (ABS cat. no. 4221.0), with more detailed tabulations (data cubes) available electronically under the 'Details' tab. The publication and data cubes are free downloads. Special tabulations can be provided upon request, as a charged service.
Further school-education related information can be obtained in the annual National Report on Schooling in Australia, downloadable from the MCEETYA website, http://www.mceetya.edu.au/mceetya/.
DATA ITEMS – ABS COLLECTION
Category (government, non-government)
Non-government affiliation (Catholic, Independent)
Level (primary, secondary, combined)
Size (by primary and secondary full-time equivalent enrolments)
Full-time, part-time, and full-time equivalent
Category of school attended (government, non-government)
Affiliation, if non-government school (Catholic, Independent)
Level (primary, secondary)
Year of school education (e.g., Year 12, Year 9)
State or territory
Number and full-time equivalent
Function (teaching or non-teaching)
Category of school at which employed (government, non-government)
Affiliation, if non-government school employee (Catholic, Independent)
Level of teaching (primary, secondary)
State or territory
Derived statistics relating to students
Apparent retention rates, full-time students
- from Year 7/8 to Years 9, 10, 11, and 12
- from Year 10 to Year 12
Apparent retention rates, total students (full-time + part-time)
- from Year 10 to Year 12
Student (FTE basis) to Teaching staff (FTE basis) ratios
School student participation rates (by age)
Other variables, and more detailed geography, may be available on request from the MCEETYA Secretariat, and from DEST in respect of non-government schools.
The NSSC was first conducted in its current form in 1981. Prior to the implementation of the NSSC, the data were not necessarily comparable between states and territories. With the implementation of the NSSC, the concepts, definitions, classifications and coverage were revised. New collection arrangements were implemented in 1981 for government series and in 1984 for non-government series.