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Back to school…by the numbers

Back to school…by the numbers

There are 1,578 public schools and 364 independent schools in B.C.

Pending final enrolment count in fall 2019, it is estimated there will be 545,805 funded full-time equivalent school-age students in public schools in the 2019-20 school year. This would be an increase of 3,155 students from 2018-19.

Based on student head count in the 2018-19 school year, there were:

• 73,107 students with special needs in the province – 3,422 more than the year before; 

• 71,983 Indigenous students in the province – 1,230 fewer than the year before;

• 68,982 English Language Learning (ELL) students in the province – 1,587 more than the year before

• 6,087 francophone students in the province – 147 more than the year before

• 54,568 French Immersion students in the province – 505 more than the year before

Since 2015-16, public school class sizes have become smaller, while enrolment has increased by more than three per cent.

Average kindergarten and grades 1 to 3 class sizes are down nine per cent since 2015-16.

Class sizes are down eight per cent for grades 4 to 7, and six per cent for grades 8 to 12, since 2015-16.

The average class sizes this past school year were:

• 22.1 in grades 8 to 12

• 23.9 in grades 4 to 7

• 19.9 in grades 1 to 3

• 18 in kindergarten

As of the end of the 2017-18 school year, here are the six-year completion rates:

• 85 per cent of all students in BC are completing high school.

• 88 per cent of English language learners are completing high school.

• 98 per cent of francophone students in Conseil scolaire francophone School District are completing high school.

• 96 per cent of French immersion students are completing high school.

• 69 per cent of all Indigenous students are completing high school. In the 2017-18 school year, the completion rate for Indigenous students increased by three percentage points over the year before – the largest one-year increase since 2010-11.

• Outcomes for students with special needs in BC are showing steady improvements. Completion rates were 75.5 per cent last school year, up from 63.5 per cent 10 years ago.

• 54 per cent of students with special needs make the transition to post-secondary within two or fewer years after completing Grade 12.

• 43 per cent of Indigenous students in public schools attended post-secondary within two or fewer years of completing high school, compared to 60 per cent of all students.

The Province is investing $6.6 billion for K-12 education this year, which is $1 billion more than in 2016-17. This is a total increase of 17.1 per cent, while enrolment has grown 3.2 per cent.

For the first time since 2006, all 60 school districts are forecasted to see an increase in funding for the 2019-20 school year.

Government has invested more than $400 million annually for school districts to hire almost 4,000 new teaching positions, including 500 special education teachers and 190 more teacher psychologists and counsellors.

An additional 1,000 education assistants have been hired in the past two years. The number of classes with an education assistant has increased by 37 per cent.

Government has invested $3.5 million to create about 250 new seats in teacher education programs in BC, including training 70 special education, 20 secondary math and physics, 74 French and about 85 Indigenous educators. 


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