School enrolment bulletin 2017/18 published today

Date published: 27 February 2018

A statistical bulletin detailing enrolment data from the 2017/18 annual school census in October 2017, has been published today.

Key Points:

  • There are 173,744 pupils in primary schools (Year 1–7), the highest level since 1999/00.
  • There are 140,545 pupils in post-primary schools, a slight increase on last year.
  • There has been an increase or more than 1,000 pupils in years 8-12 compared to last year, although the number of pupils in sixth forms has dropped by about 1,000 pupils to almost 28,500.
  • There are 23,500 pupils in funded pre-school education, a small drop on last year.  This represents 91% of all three year olds in the population.
  • More than 100,000 pupils are entitled to free school meals representing three in ten of all pupils.
  • More than 79,000 pupils in schools have some form of special educational needs.  Approximately 5,700 pupils are enrolled in 39 dedicated special schools.
  • There are approximately 14,400 pupils in schools recorded as non-white.  This is an increase of 4,400 compared to five years prior. 
  • In 2017/18 there are approximately 90 first languages spoken by pupils, with Polish and Lithuanian being the most common behind English.
  • In 2017/18 there are approximately 15,400 newcomer pupils that require extra support, accounting for 4.5% of the school population.
  • More than 23,000 pupils participate in integrated education, an increase of more than 500 since last year.

The full statistical bulletin can be accessed on the DE website.

Notes to editors: 

1.  The 2017/18 figures in this statistical release are based on information as at 6 October 2017.They may be subject to minor revision and these will be notified in accordance with our revisions policy.This can be accessed on the DE website.

2.  Requests for further information should be addressed to:-

Statistics and Research Team
Department of Education
Rathgael House
Balloo Road
Co. Down
BT19 7PR
Telephone (028) 9127 9446 / Fax (028) 9127 9594

3.  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 under the Statistics and Research section.

4.  Media enquiries to the Department of Education’s Press Office on Tel: 028 9127 9207. Out of office hours contact the Duty Press Officer via pager number 07623 974383 and your call will be returned.

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