From humble beginnings over 200 years ago, Australia’s 1,756 Catholic schools now educate 805,000 or one in five Australian students and employ over 109,000 staff.

Catholic schools have been serving families for over 200 years. Millions of Australian students have been educated in our schools since 1820.

The latest Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) Census data shows Catholic education remains the major provider of education outside of government, with enrolments growing from 766,088 students in 2017 to 804,761 in 2023.

The ABS data also shows strong growth across all faith-based non-government schools, with enrolments increasing around 8% over five years. Overall enrolments in faith-based schools increased from over 1.2 million in 2017 to 1.3 million in 2022.

Today around 30% of all Australian students are educated in faith-based schools, and Catholic schools are the major provider of faith-based education in the country, enrolling about 60% of students in the non-government sector. 

This growth shows the great importance Australian families place on choosing a school that meets the needs of their child and reflects their values and beliefs. 

Catholic schools give families the choice of a holistic, balanced and affordable education. Sharing our Catholic faith, lifting educational standards, and supporting the diverse needs and wellbeing of students is at the heart of our mission.

Our schools are inclusive, welcoming students from all backgrounds, with growing numbers of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students and students with disability. Almost 40% of Catholic schools are located outside major metropolitan areas.

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