Enrolment data from the 2013/14 annual school census was released in December 2013.
Today a further statistical release has been published. Its purpose is to present a more detailed analysis of enrolment figures for schools in the north of Ireland. The data are taken from the school census exercise which ran in October 2013.
· There are 162,253 pupils in primary schools and preparatory departments (Year 1–7). This is the highest total recorded since 2005/06, and is an increase of more than 3,300 pupils compared to last year.
· There are 143,973 pupils in post-primary schools (Years 8–14). This is the lowest post-primary enrolment recorded in over twenty years, and has dropped by 1,700 pupils since last year. This decrease is attributable to a drop in non-grammar school enrolments, whereas grammar enrolments remain consistent. However, the number of pupils enrolled post-year 12 continues to rise (30,917), and has increased by 20% compared to 10 years ago.
· There are 23,507 children in funded pre-school education. This has increased by approximately 2,500 pupils since 2006/07. The majority of pupils in funded pre-school provision attend nursery schools or nursery units in primary schools (14,804). Voluntary and private pre-school education centres are the next most common form of pre-school provision, with 8,360 pupils enrolled in 2013/14. There has been a sharp increase of approximately 2,000 pupils in funded pre-school centres since 2006/07. There are just 343 reception pupils in 2013/14, which has almost halved since 2006/07.
· 21,745 pupils attend integrated schools. While this continues to rise, the rate of increase has slowed in recent years; just 250 more pupils attend integrated schools than last year.
· A total of 4,907 pupils participate in Irish medium education and this has steadily risen over time, increasing by almost 1,000 pupils since 2008/09 and almost 300 pupils since last year.
· A quarter (25.2%) of pupils in primary and post-primary schools are entitled to free school meals, similar to the proportion recorded in the last few years. Compared to last year, free school meal entitlement has increased among of year 1-7 pupils in primary schools and preparatory departments (30.0% to 31.1%) and pupils in funded pre-school education (including reception) (22.6% to 23.9%). Free school meal entitlement stands at 27.1% of pupils in secondary (non-grammar) schools and 7.4% of grammar school pupils.
· 21.7% of pupils in schools were recorded as having special education needs and 4.7% of pupils had a statement of special educational needs. The number of SEN pupils continues to increase, mainly among pupils in mainstream schools as opposed to pupils in special schools.
The full report can be accessed on the DE website at: http://www.deni.gov.uk/enrolments_in_schools_1314__-_february_release_-_final_2.pdf
Notes to editors:
1. The 2013/14 figures in this press release are based on information as at 11th October 2013. They may be subject to minor revision and these will be notified in accordance with our revisions policy. This can be accessed at http://www.deni.gov.uk/de_statement_on_statistical_revisions-2.doc.
Requests for further information should be addressed to:-
Statistics and Research Team
Department of Education
Telephone (028) 9127 9717/ Fax (028) 9127 9594
2. Special analyses of data collected through the school census can be undertaken on request. DE Statistical Releases, including previous releases of this publication can be accessed on the DE website www.deni.gov.uk under the Statistics and Research section.
3. Feedback on this publication can be provided directly to Paul Matthews (contact details above) or via the feedback questionnaire on the DE website at: http://www.deni.gov.uk/feedback-pg.htm