Statistical snapshot of our region's schools

THE south-west’s public and private schools employ more than 1450 teaching staff and have a combined income of more than two hundred million dollars.

An analysis of the MySchool website by The Standard reveals the enormous size of the region’s education industry as an employer, with almost $205 million in combined net income among the south-west’s 63 schools in 2012. Many education leaders and principals are cautious about the MySchool data, particularly on performance figures which they argue provides only a narrow view of a school on the day students sit the NAPLAN test — not its overall performance. 

But the extra data has provided an interesting snapshot of the south-west showing which schools have the most students and most budgets. 

The MySchool findings show: 

* there were 16,342 students enrolled across 63 schools in the south-west in 2013;

* Emmanuel College is the south-west’s largest school with 1244 enrolments in 2013 and a 2012 budget of $14,481,498 for its two secondary campuses, making it the biggest budget school in the region;

* Dartmoor Primary School was the smallest school in the region in 2013, with just 19 pupils enrolled and a 2012 budget of $363,726; 

* Warrnambool Primary School is the region’s biggest primary school with 587 enrolments last year;

* Panmure Primary School has the highest percentage of indigenous students at 29 per cent, followed by Portland Primary School with 21 per cent and Heywood Consolidated School at 18 per cent; 

* the average amount budgeted per student across all primary, secondary and P-12 schools is $13,285. At special development schools, that figure is almost tripled to $38,497;

* the average amount budgeted per student at all government schools (excluding special development schools) is $12,755. At non-government schools, that figure rises to $14,201;

* the schools with the highest percentage of students with a language background other than English are Dartmoor Primary School (33 per cent), St John’s Lutheran Primary School in Portland (21 per cent), Cudgee Primary School (17 per cent), and King’s College in Warrnambool (12 per cent);

* Heywood District Secondary College has the worst student attendance rate of the south-west’s schools (89 per cent), while Cudgee Primary School and St Thomas Primary School in Terang have the best (97 per cent);

* the schools with the lowest enrolments-to-teaching staff ratios (excluding special development schools) are St Joseph’s School in Coleraine (an average of five students per teacher) and Sacred Heart Primary School in Casterton (5.4 students per teacher); 

* the schools with the highest enrolments-to-teaching staff ratios are Portland North Primary School (18.1 pupils per teacher) and Allansford & District Primary School (17.2 pupils per teacher).

Despite 1459 teaching staff already working in schools from Camperdown to Casterton, teaching graduates are still finding work locally. 

About 31 students will graduate with primary teaching degrees from Deakin University in Warrnambool at the end of the month — 27 with distinctions. 

Deakin University head of education Professor Christine Ure said there didn’t appear to be a shortage of jobs locally.

“Locally our employment numbers are good. We do keep an eye on the job market,” Professor Ure said.

“We have a good number that are employed in the south-west.”

She said the number of new enrolments was steady. “There is no alarming oversupply and we do have an ageing workforce.”

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