Since World War 2
Changes during the last decades
Since the Second World War the process of consolidation has markedly reduced the number of schools in New South Wales. Only a small part of the reduction is accounted for by the fact that from January 1974 the Australian Capital Territory Schools Authority assumed full responsibility for nearly 60 government schools which had previously been counted in the figures for New South Wales. In 2007 there were 2,243 government schools. These include: 1,625 Primary Schools, 17 separate Infants Schools, 67 Central/Community Schools, 397 High Schools, 114 Schools for Specific Purposes and 23 Environmental Education Centres.
A comparison can be made of enrolment figures for 2007 with those of 1902. In 1902 there were 243,667 students in 2,842 schools. In 2007 there were 738,636 students in 2,243 schools (excluding the 23 Field Studies Centres which do not have enrolments). There are only approximately 152 one teacher schools in 2008, whereas in 1950 there were 1,450. Greater urbanisation and improvements in roads and transport have been key factors in the consolidation of schools. The one-teacher school in the bush, which began the government school system of education in 1848, and which predominated for over a century, is no longer typical. It has been overshadowed by the growth of the large staffed school, both primary and secondary.