RE ATAR Unit 4: role Religion plays in the public life of Australia or another nation

Religion in Education

Liberty and Equality

State Funding


In 2020:

    • There were 4,006,974 students enrolled in schools across Australia, an increase of 58,163 (1.5%) since 2019
    • 65.6% of students were enrolled in government schools, 19.4% in Catholic schools and 15% independent schools
    • Teachers made up 70% of in-school staff
    • The Year 7 to 12 Apparent Retention Rate for Australia was 83.6%


The Catholic Church has established primary, secondary and tertiary educational institutions in Australia. Today one in five Australian students attend Catholic schools. There are over 1,700 Catholic schools in Australia with more than 750,000 students enrolled, employing almost 60,000 teachers.


Below is an edited extract from "The Rise of Religious Schools" was published by The Centre for Independent Studies earlier this month. The full report is available from