Basic Statistics of Annual Enrolments at grant-aided schools 2017/18 published

Date published: 12 December 2017

The Department of Education has today published a statistical release which details the basic provisional enrolment figures for schools and for children in funded pre-school education for 2017/18.

The data is taken from the school enrolments census, which was conducted in October 2017.

Data collected through the school census exercise is used to inform Departmental policy development, implementation and evaluation.

This first release of the basic statistics contains information which is used in the process to allocate funding to schools. A further statistical release, containing a more detailed set of tables will be published in February 2018.

Key points:

  • The total number of pupils in schools in October 2017 was approximately 344,000, an increase of more than 2,000 pupils compared to 2016.
  • 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. This is a slight drop from last year.
  • The number of pupils in compulsory primary school education (Years 1-7) was 173,745. This has risen by more than 2,000 pupils compared with last year. This is the highest number of primary pupils recorded since 1999.
  • The number of pupils in post-primary schools was 140,550. This has increased by just over 100 pupils on last year. Decreases were seen in the number of pupils in sixth form in schools.
  • Special school enrolments continue to increase, rising to 5,736 in 2017/18.
  • The numbers of schools continues to decrease. There are now 1,153 schools.
  • 29% (approximately 100,000) of children across all schools are entitled to free school meals.

The full report can be found on the Department of Education website.

Notes to editors: 

1.  Further information relating to the collection and production of the statistics can be obtained by contacting:

Paul Matthews
Analytical Services Unit
Department of Education
Rathgael House
Balloo Road
BT19 7PR
Tel: 02891 279717

2.  Media enquiries to the Department of Education Press Office Tel: 028 9127 9207. Out of office hours, contact the Duty Press Officer via pager number 07623 974 383 and your call will be returned.

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