Skip to main content

New Australian Bureau of Statistics data shows more Queensland parents are choosing to enrol their children in the state’s independent schools than ever before.

ABS school census data released today shows the independent sector in Queensland grew by 5,802 students in the past 12 months. This represents a 4.1% increase overall and a total market share of 16.8% of all Queensland students.

Over the past two decades, enrolments in the Queensland independent sector have increased 75%, from 83,841 students in 2003 to 147,268 in 2023.

This year also marks the fifth year in a row that independent school enrolments have grown at a higher rate than both the State and Catholic sectors.

Independent Schools Queensland CEO, Chris Mountford said the ongoing growth signified the importance parents were placing on choice when it came to where they send their children to school.

“The independent sector in Queensland represents more than 230 diverse schools, from small vocational focused colleges, to special assistance schools helping young people who have disengaged from mainstream schooling, to various faith-based schools,” Mr Mountford said.

“We know Queensland’s population is growing and with that will come with a greater mix of religions, beliefs and ethos, and the community expectation that schools will be available to cater for this diversity.

“Choosing where to send your child to school is a parent’s right, and we are seeing that right being exercised more every year through strong enrolment growth in the independent sector.”

Mr Mountford said the continued growth, combined with longer waitlists meant a concerted effort would be needed to meet this demand.

“With mid-range estimates from the Queensland Government suggesting an additional 90,000 school students by 2046, it’s imperative that we begin planning for adequate community infrastructure to accommodate this growth now. This includes the provision of a diversity in schooling options for parents,” he said.

“The non-government sector is fortunate to have access to capital funding arrangements from State and Federal Governments, and ensuring these arrangements remain is crucial to ensuring a growing cohort of future Queensland students are set up for success in life.”

Media Contact

0428 612 315 |

Back to top