NON-GOVERNMENT Ballarat schools are reporting an increasing trend in enrolments for the 2013 academic year.
The school year officially opened yesterday for most students with some Ballarat schools, government and independent, set to welcome students on Monday.
Ballarat Grammar and Ballarat Clarendon College, both of which run early learning classes through to year 12, report a steady upward trend in student numbers with parents still trying to enrol their children for this year as late as yesterday.
Ballarat Grammar headmaster Stephen Higgs said two classes were added to Grammar’s junior school this year to help cater to excess demand and senior school numbers, while logistically limited by available buildings, were also slightly up.
Grammar totals 1500 students, including 220 boarders mostly from western Victoria and into the Riverina and New South Wales, and about 35 boarders.
Ballarat Clarendon College boasts a waiting list for its boys’ boarding house and the girls house is near-full for 2013.
College has 150 boarders among 950 students in its middle and senior schools.
The total College student population is 1320.
Ballarat Christian College has steadily grown to about 365 students through prep to year 12, including 18 new preps and almost 20 year 7s this year.
Catholic education has also proven a popular option with preliminary estimates of a four per cent enrolment increase with particularly strong growth in Emmaus (Mt Clear), St Aloysius (Redan), St Francis Xavier (Ballarat East), Our Lady Help of Christians (Wendouree), St Thomas More (Alfredton) and St Columba’s (Ballarat North) primary schools.
According to the Catholic Education Office more than 50 per cent of new enrolments in Victorian schools in the past two years has been in Catholic schools.
In the Ballarat district, 5481 pupils will attend a government primary school, including 1023 preps, and 4493 will attend government secondary schools, including 713 year sevens.
About 2500 new graduate teachers will take up posts in Victorian state schools this year.