Nationally in 2016:
- there were 3.8 million full time equivalent students enrolled in school
- the majority of students (65.3 per cent of full time equivalent students) were enrolled in a government school. The majority of schools were government owned and managed.
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students accounted for 7.0 per cent of full time students at government schools and 2.5 per cent of full time students in non-government schools.
Recurrent expenditure by Australian, State and Territory governments on school education in 2015–16 was $55.7 billion, of which $42.4 billion was spent on government schools.
Australian schooling aims for all young Australians to become successful learners, confident and creative individuals, and active and informed citizens positioning them to live fulfilling, productive and responsible lives. It aims for students to excel by international standards, while reducing educational disadvantage.
To meet this vision, the school education system aims to:
- engage all students and promote student participation
- deliver high quality teaching with a world-class curriculum.
Governments aim for school education services to meet these objectives in an equitable and efficient manner.