A show of faith: 18% increase in Australians choosing Christian schools

While policy experts tell other policy experts that Australia is “increasingly secular,” and that Australians want nothing to do with Christianity, someone forgot to tell Australia’s parents.

Far from walking away from faith-based schools, more parents are sending their children to schools that live out their religious beliefs. Especially Christian schools.

According to the recently released report called Enrolment Trends the number of enrolments in Christian Schools increased to 81,482 students last year. That’s 15,180 students more students in Christian schools than there were in 2016.

If your maths isn’t as good as it was in year 12, let us do the calculations for you.

That’s an 18.6% increase.

And those numbers don’t include the many Christians schools that are categorised as  “non denominational.” Nor does it include the tens of thousands of parents who send their kids to Anglican, Lutheran or Catholic Schools.

So, it’s clear: Australians aren’t as secular as we keep being told. Even Australians who don’t share the Christian faith appreciate the benefits of this Christian faith when it comes to educating their children.

What’s not so clear, is why parents are choosing Christian schools. (Though we’re hoping you could help us with that — at the end of this article!) 

After all, when you choose a school for your child, it’s a big decision. You could say it’s an act of faith. You’re saying you trust that school to bring the best out in your child. That its teachers will instil the values you care about. That the staff won’t just talk the talk but also walk the walk, and model these values to your children.

Last year, we did some of our own research on that. We surveyed 1,000 people from every State and Territory, believers and non-believers. And we asked them what personality trait you think should be cultivated in students by a Christian schools? The top answers were:

  • ‘Respect for others’ (23.1%)
  • ‘Care and compassion’ (21.5%)
  • ‘Love for God and others’ (12.9%).

Lots of parents see compassion, respect and love as sorely lacking in this cultural moment. 

So if you’re a parent, and you’ve seen these wonderful values in the classrooms and playgrounds of Christian schools, it’s no wonder you’ll choose that school for the child you’re raising.

We’d love to hear your own reasons! And we suspect that Senators and MPs are interested too, they’ve certainly enough from ‘policy experts.’ 

It’s time they heard from the increasing number of parents sending their sons and daughters to a Christian school – you can tell your story here.