CATHOLIC primary school students in the Central West generally get less one-on-one time with their teacher than their public schools peers, new data shows.
The student to teacher ratio at some Catholic schools in Bathurst, Dubbo, Orange and Mudgee is far higher than the national average of 14.0 students to one teacher.
St Mary's Catholic Primary School tops the list for the highest ratio in the region, with 23.21 students for each teacher, data from the Australian Curriculum Assessment and Reporting Authority shows.
St Philomena's Catholic Primary School in Bathurst is not far behind with a ratio of 21.33 to one; and St John's Catholic Primary School in Dubbo is third at 21.04.
St Matthew's Catholic School Mudgee, which has a K-12 student body, has a ratio of 15.54; while Lithgow's St Patrick's Primary School is right on the national average of 14.0.
By comparison, the average national ratio at government schools is 13.8, while independent schools are even less at 11.7.
In the Central West, the highest government school ratios in these five locations are at: Nashdale Public School (20.83); Meadow Flat Public School (20.00); Cudgegong Valley Public School (18.75); Zig Zag Public School (17.25) and Dubbo West Public School (16.53).
Catholic Diocese executive director of schools Jenny Allen said the average ratio in the region's schools was only "marginally different from that of the government sector".
"Student-teacher ratios are affected by a range of factors specific to an individual school's context, such as teacher experience, the number of non-teaching staff, school size, and the level of socio-educational advantage of the students," she said.
"The student-teacher ratio can lose its usefulness as a metric without considering the individual school's context in relation to these factors."
A Department of Education spokesman said the most important factors in determining student success are the quality of the teacher and his or her teaching.
"NSW consistently performs above the national average in NAPLAN testing," he said.
The spokesman said allocation of teaching staff in NSW public schools was determined by formulae based on student enrolments and that schools and that schools could engage additional staff using flexible needs-based funding.
With the ongoing drought in Western NSW, the spokesman said that teacher numbers would be maintained at drought-affected schools to ensure continuity and stability for regional and remote students.
Find out more by visiting the Australian Curriculum Assessment and Reporting Authority.
Highest student to teacher ratios
- St Philomena's Catholic Primary School 21.33
- Meadow Flat Public School 20.00
- Cathedral Catholic Primary School 19.73
- O'Connell Public School 19.73
- Holy Family Catholic Primary School 19.57
- St John's Catholic Primary School 21.04
- St Mary's Catholic Primary School 20.88
- Burrabadine Cornerstone Christian School 18.89
- St Pius X Catholic Primary School 18.13
- St Laurence's Catholic Primary School 17.07
- Zig Zag Public School 17.25
- Cooerwull Public School 17.09
- Lithgow Public School 14.96
- St Patrick's Primary School 14.00
- Lithgow High School 12.38
Mudgee - Schools with highest student teacher ratio
- Cudgegong Valley Public School 18.75
- Mudgee Public School 16.27
- St Matthews Catholic School 15.54
- Leu Public School 13.08
- Mudgee High School 12.03
- St Mary's Catholic Primary School 23.21
- Nashdale Public School 20.83
- Catherine McAuley Catholic Primary School 19.44
- Canobolas Public School 19.33
- Clergate Public School 18.78
Lowest student to teacher ratios
- Carenne School 4.58
- Sofala Public School 4.67
- All Saints' College Bathurst 10.30
- Kelso Public School 10.47
- Scots All Saints College 10.56
- Lincoln School 2.38
- Mian School 3.33
- Dubbo School of Distance Education 3.61
- Dubbo College Senior Campus 9.42
- Central West Leadership Academy 10.00
- Hampton Public School 4.62
- La Salle Academy 9.05
- Cullen Bullen Public School 10.00
- Wollar Public School 3.08
- Hill End Public School 6.15
- Ulan Public School 10.71
- Hargraves Public School 11.15
- Ilford Public School 11.15
- Anson Street School 4.59
- Bowen Public School 9.72
- Kinross Wolaroi School 10.20
- Cargo Public School 10.40
- Canobolas Rural Technology High School 10.86
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