Analysis following the release of the Independent Schools Australia (ISA) Research Report, School Enrolment Trends and Projections 2022 shows that once again Christian schools are the fastest growing sector. The Report shows that in 2021, enrolments in the Independent sector grew by 3.1% to 667,259 student enrolments – the strongest sector growth in more than a decade. Their analysis suggests that during the COVID pandemic many parents chose to enrol their child in an Independent school when previously they may have enrolled in a government school. This bears out the anecdotal experience of many Christian Schools Australia (CSA) member schools.

Other key findings in the Report include:

• Of the more than four million students in Australia, 17% are enrolled in Independent schools,
• The non-government sector as a whole is educating more than a third (35%) of total enrolments
• The Independent sector is predicted to continue to exhibit the fastest growth over the decade to 2031
• The strongest growth was experienced in low fee Independent schools (below $5,000 per annum)
This last finding points to the key driver in the growth in Independent schools, the growth of Christian schools.

Analysis of internal CSA data, adjusting for changes on membership, when combined with the ISA data shows that over the last five years:

• total school enrolments have grown by 1.2% per year,
• the Independent sector (as a whole) has grown by 2.3% per year,
• the Government sector has grown by 1.1% per year,
• the Catholic sector has grown by 0.6%, and
• the Christian school sector (represented by CSA members) has grown by 2.8% per year.

With the demand for Christian schools, and with many schools now having reached capacity, CSA has called for more land and buildings to be made available to Christian schools.

Source: National Alliance of Christian Leaders

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