Almost 6,200 additional students commenced at Queensland independent schools this year compared with the start of the 2020 school year – an increase of 4.8 per cent.
This is the biggest annual increase since the Prep Year was introduced across Queensland 14 years ago, and means the independent sector is the fastest growing in the state.
Independent Schools Queensland’s new Chief Executive Officer Christopher Mountford said the latest 2021 student enrolment data showed more families continued to seek out bespoke schooling options for their children.
Independent schools now enrol 15.5 per cent of all school-age children in Queensland, an increase of 0.5 per cent on 2020.
According to 2021–22 Budget papers Queensland received 30,000 net interstate migrants in 2020, with another 85,000 expected over the next four years.
“The flow-on effects for independent school places are already being felt with demand outstripping supply in some areas. If more private investment, land and new school proponents aren’t identified and supported to meet this demand, school choice will be eroded, and governments will foot an even greater bill to accommodate and teach these additional students,” he said.
“Based on my experience in the property sector – having spent 12 years at the Queensland Property Council, including seven as its Executive Director – I am keen to explore new opportunities and partnerships that foster the development of more independent schools to meet this projected demand, particularly in key growth corridors. There is an opportunity to bring the views of schools, the property sector and government together around the delivery of new schools.”
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