Pupil numbers in Northern Ireland primary schools hit 18-year high
More children are attending primary school here than at any time since 1999.
There are more than 173,000 pupils in classes P1 to P7 - a rise of more than 2,000 on last year.
The figures were revealed in a Department of Education report, which details the basic provisional enrolment figures for schools and for children in funded pre-school education for 2017/18.
The data was taken from the school enrolments census, which was conducted in October 2017.
Overall, the total number of pupils in schools was approximately 344,000, an increase of more than 2,000 pupils compared to 2016.
In spite of this the number of schools continues to decrease and now stands at 1,153. Much of this decline is accounted for by the drop of 22 primary schools (including preparatory departments) and nine non-grammar schools from 2013.
The number of children in funded pre-school education - that is reception classes, nursery schools and units, or voluntary and private pre-school centres - was 23,501, slightly down from last year.
There were 140,550 pupils in post-primary schools - an increase of just over 100 pupils on last year - but sixth-form numbers went down.
Special school enrolments continue to increase, rising to 5,736 in 2017/18, while 29% (approximately 100,000) of children across all schools are entitled to free school meals.
This first release of the basic statistics contains information which is used in the process to allocate funding to schools.